COLUMBIA — Former Purdue men's basketball coach Gene Keady confirmed Tuesday morning that Matt Painter has been communicating with Missouri representatives about possibly becoming the next Missouri men's basketball coach.
Multiple reports have stated that Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden will meet with Painter, who has coached the Purdue men's basketball team since 2005, sometime on Tuesday. They are set to discuss the possibility of Painter filling the spot vacated by Mike Anderson, who took the head coaching position at Arkansas last Wednesday.
Keady said he has spoken with Painter recently, and is aware of the contact between Painter and Missouri.
“I thought he met with them this morning," Keady said in a telephone interview Tuesday morning.
Tom Schott, the Purdue assistant athletic director for communications, could not confirm the meeting between Painter and Missouri representatives. He said he had not talked to Painter directly since Painter left for Florida to vacation with his family.
"I think it's pretty well known he's meeting with Missouri this morning," Schott said in a telephone interview Tuesday morning.
Keady said he doesn't think Painter has made his decision yet.
"I think he is still evaluating and being fair to both parties and trying to decide what is best for him and his family," Keady said.
Schott said Purdue contacted Painter by phone Monday evening and made it known that it wants to keep Painter as its head coach.
"Last night, the board of trustees, president (France Cordova) and (athletic director) Morgan Burke clearly demonstrated Purdue University's commitment to our men's basketball program," Schott said in a Tuesday release. "They were proactive and displayed encouragement to stay, both in words and in actions."
Schott said further information on Painter's future will be available in a release when it is known.
Painter is a 1994 graduate of Purdue, where he played basketball from 1989 to 1993. Before becoming the Boilermakers' head coach he served as an assistant at Washington and Jefferson, Barton, Eastern Illinois and Southern Illinois. He also served as the head coach at Southern Illinois during the 2003-2004 season, when he led his team to a 25-5 record.
In 2004, Purdue recruited Painter to succeed Keady, who planned to retire at the end of the 2004-2005 season. Painter served as the Boilermakers’ associate head coach in 2004-2005 before taking over as head coach on April 1, 2005.
In Keady’s final season at Purdue, his team finished 10th in the Big Ten with a 7-21 overall record. In 2007, just Painter’s second season as the head coach of the Boilermakers, his team finished with a 22-12 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
In his six seasons at Purdue, Painter has an overall record of 137-63. He has led the team to the NCAA tournament each year since 2007, and in 2011 his team finished the regular season with a 25-7 record and received a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Boilermakers defeated St. Peter’s before losing to Virginia Commonwealth on March 20.
Painter's current contract with Purdue is valid through the 2016-17 season and includes a $1.3 million base salary.
"He’s great for Purdue," Keady said. "I hope he stays."