Carroll sees future in coaching

Travis Carroll hopes his time in the game of basketball is just beginning.

Since the days on the Little Tikes basketball hoop to that final game with Purdue, Travis Carroll's life has been all about basketball. He was the ultimate gym rat.

Carroll embodied everything it took to be a Boilermaker. He had tremendous passion for the game, unrivaled work ethic and an upbeat attitude. But his basketball playing days were over.

"I obviously won't have basketball anymore," Carroll said. "I guess I'll be a regular student for the next couple months, which is going to be weird for me.

"I've been playing basketball my whole life. It's going to be weird. I'm going to have a lot of free time. I'm going to have to find new hobbies, stuff to do."

Perhaps Carroll doesn't need to begin collecting stamps. His time around the game of basketball may not be over.

The dream job for Carroll is in coaching. It's something he hopes to pursue after graduation from Purdue. This is a gig he was made for.

"That's what I want to do, is coach," Carroll said. "You hear Coach Painter talk about how basketball is his passion and he loves doing it. That's definitely mine, too. I can't see myself doing anything but working around basketball."

Ever since Carroll arrived in West Lafayette as a freshman, he studied Painter's coaching methods. He watched how Painter ran practices, made adjustments in games and managed the team.

"I learned a ton," Carroll said. "I learned how to play the right way.

"Luckily enough for me, I paid attention closely the past four years to what he's done, how he handles certain situations. Whenever I have my team, I'll know how to handle certain stuff."

Studying Painter has molded Carroll for a future in coaching. He was a team captain as a senior, bringing leadership to a Purdue team in need of it. As the Boilermakers attempted to restructure their program with work ethic, Carroll was the leading example.

What Carroll represented as a player, he took from his head coach.

"He's fiery, he's very passionate," said Carroll of Painter. "I know his work ethic, how he works constantly. Everything in his life is basketball."

The leadership Carroll brought to the court each day will be sorely missed by Purdue. It's a program working to rebuild, but with plenty of youth put into important positions. Still, he sees good things in the Boilermakers' future.

"I think it's very bright," he said. "You see the sophomores and freshmen are very talented. And the high school seniors that are coming in, they'll be very good additions to the program."

Maybe down the road, Carroll will have his own basketball program to build.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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