As the 2012-13 year in Boilermaker sports concludes, Purdue fans will look back on its teams with mixed emotions.
The football program has completely changed over the course of a year. Gone is Danny Hope, and hopefully the embarrassing home performances in Big Ten play. Gone is the fake excitement of receiving an invitation to a mediocre bowl with a 6-6 record before being crushed by an outmatched opponent.
Without playing a single game, the hiring of Darrell Hazell has brought a new culture to Purdue football. Hazell will have to prove his mettle once the season begins. But he has fans buying in, something that no one since Joe Tiller has done.
The Purdue men’s basketball team’s struggles throughout the season have been well-documented, but the future looks bright for the program. Knocking off Wisconsin on the road and having the chance to beat national runner-up Michigan on the final possession isn’t the worst way a rebuilding season can go.
The transfers of Sandi Marcius, Jacob Lawson and Anthony Johnson will hopefully improve the team simply through addition by subtraction. While all three players showed flashes of potential throughout their careers, no one made an impact to propel the team forward to a bigger and better stage.
Matt Painter now has more room to recruit and add players and should be able to fill another solid recruiting class much like the previous two years.
The opening of Alexander Field was the only bright spot for Purdue baseball fans this season, as the team continues to struggle and is last in the Big Ten in all major statistics. Last year’s Big Ten championship and playoff run was enjoyable for the fans and program and hopefully the team can find its winning ways again soon.
Ending on a positive note, the women’s basketball team was once again the bright spot of the major Purdue sports. The team won their second consecutive Big Ten tournament championship and made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament before losing to eventual national runner-up Louisville.
The team graduates dynamic seniors Drey Mingo, Sam Ostarello and Chantel Poston, but returns a talented squad. The story of Mingo’s collegiate career can’t be told enough times, and fans will have many fond memories of the sixth-year senior as she leaves Purdue.
Head coach Sharon Versyp has set the example for athletic success for Purdue’s major teams in 2013-14, but the other programs won’t be far behind next year.
Colin Mairet is a sophomore in Krannert School of Management and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org