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Former Purdue coach says loyalty is what kept Matt Painter at Purdue

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | 7:54 p.m. CDT; updated 8:41 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 31, 2011

COLUMBIA — Gene Keady summed it up perfectly. 

“Wild day wasn’t it?" Keady said. "Wild day."

Less than an hour after Purdue posted a press release to its athletics website announcing Matt Painter had agreed to a new eight-year deal as the head coach of the Boilermakers basketball team, Keady, who coached Purdue basketball for 25 years still wasn't sure what to believe. 

"I just keep hearing these things," Keady said. "People keep telling me he’s coming back to Purdue."

He had reason to be skeptical. Like many on Wednesday, Keady had been getting all sorts of information about Painter's plans.

Before Painter's new pledge to Purdue was officially confirmed, multiple reports claimed he had decided to accept Missouri's offer to become the next coach of the Missouri men's basketball team — presented by Missouri Athletics Director Mike Alden and his search committee Tuesday in Orlando.

Even Keady's son had called him to tell him Painter was Columbia-bound. Keady couldn't rule out the possibility. He hadn't talked to Painter all day. 

"Sometimes the grass looks greener, you know," Keady said. "Sometimes young guys get itchy feet."

But then a wave of new reports surfaced. Painter was staying put. 

Soon after, Purdue, posted its release. And as Keady became reassured that the matter was finalized, he made no attempts to hide his pleasure. A short laugh sounded of his relief.

“OK," Keady said. "Good."

In the statement, Painter said his heart is at Purdue.

And while the terms of Painters' eight-year contract that will be presented in a Purdue news conference Thursday likely played a significant role in the reconfirmation of the coach's commitment, Keady said loyalty is why Painter stayed. 

"He’s pretty loyal to his players," Keady said. "I don’t think he wanted his players to think he was abandoning them."

With Painter staying put, Keady can rest assured. But for Missouri, Painter is out of the picture, and the search for a new coach just got a lot more interesting. 


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Comments

Ellis Smith March 31, 2011 | 6:07 a.m.

Is the Missourian sports staff unfamiliar with Purdue's basketball history? Purdue has made the advanced rounds of the NCAA tournament on several occasions and has played for at least one championship (lost to UCLA).

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