Purdue fired coach Darrell Hazell on Sunday midway through his fourth season, ending his tenure with the worst winning percentage of any Boilermakers coach in 95 years.
Hazell was 9-33 overall (.220) since taking over in 2013, and his dismissal had seemed almost inevitable entering this season. A 3-2 start with victories against FCS opponents Eastern Kentucky, Nevada and Illinois gave some hope that he would be given one last full season to show progress. But new Purdue Athletic Director Mike Bobinski, who was hired away from Georgia Tech in August, decided to make the change in the middle of the season.
Wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Gerad Parker is now interim coach. Parker is in his fourth season on staff.
“From the first time I met Darrell, I could tell he was a man of high character — a quality person who you would want leading a group of young men — but our inconsistent performance and inability to generate positive momentum thus far this season, along with the disappointing results of the past three seasons, made it clear to me that we needed to make a change,” Bobinski said in a statement.
The Boilermakers lost 49-35 at home to Iowa on Saturday and trailed 42-14 heading into the fourth quarter. Purdue has averaged 32,078 in attendance at Ross-Ade Stadium, capacity 62,000, for four home games.
The last Purdue coach to have a worse winning percentage than Hazell was William Henry Dietz, who went 1-6 in 1921. The Boilermakers play at No. 8 Nebraska on Saturday.
Michigan moves up to No. 3 in AP poll
Michigan moved up to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll, right behind No. 2 Ohio State, to give the Big Ten rivals their best combined ranking since the 2006 season, when they played the only 1-vs.-2 game in the series.
Alabama remained No. 1 with a season-high 60 first-place votes. The Buckeyes stayed No. 2 after an overtime victory against Wisconsin, which fell two spots to 10th. The Wolverines moved up in an off week with Clemson slipping to fourth. The Tigers had their own overtime escape at home against North Carolina State.
Michigan has its best ranking since it was No. 3 after losing to Ohio State in ‘06.
No. 5 Washington, No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 7 Louisville held their spots.