On a very steamy day in September 1997 I hugged a soaking wet and slightly disoriented Joe Tiller, head football coach at Purdue University, after having stormed the field at Ross-Ade Stadium. Tiller had led the Boilermakers to a 28-17 victory over Notre Dame, Purdue's first victory over the Irish in thirteen seasons. He was 1 - 1 at Purdue but already a god. Tiller went on to take the Boilers to a bowl that season and the subsequent seven that followed. Things were good.
Jump ahead to last season. Tiller has a highly regarded defense and a strong-armed quarterback, yet only manages a quite disappointing 5 - 6 year. The cavalcade of poor news begins: no bowl, off the field drama with a team increasingly sans chemistry, players leaving early for the NFL. Tiller does what any coach who still has a job after a season like that does: he shakes things up. The staff sees many new faces along with departures of stalwart assistants from the glory days. Lucky for us though, one member of the Boilermaker football organization survived the cut, and she just might hold the key to success this season.
Above is page 62 of the program to this year's season. Mixed in with ticket manager George Ade and Cheer and Mascot Coach Elvis Moya is a Football Secretary on the edge of the second row. Someone might want to check to see if her resume mentions any roles in Bond/Austin Powers movies. I hope the Boiler faithful are ready for another bowl jaunt, because there's no stopping Foxy Lafon.