A native of Gainesville, Hope has coached for over 20 years with stops at Louisville, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Louisville before serving as head coach of Eastern Kentucky and Purdue. During his four year stint as offensive line coach at Purdue, he helped mold a unit that helped protect and elevate the play of QB Drew Brees while producing three time NFL Pro-Bowler Matt Light. Later as Purdue’s head coach from 2009-2012, he led the Boilermakers to consecutive bowl seasons before being let go after the 2012 campaign.
Interestingly enough, Hope has direct connections to the Tampa Bay area, positive and negative. He started his coaching career in 1981 as one of Joe Kinnan’s original assistant coaches at nearby Manatee High School, Willie Taggart’s alma mater. However, there may still be no love lost between him and some of the area’s high school coaches. In 2011, Hope pulled the scholarship of then Armwood receiver A.J. King over concerns over a knee injury he suffered the prior regular season, which prompted Armwood coach Sean Callahan to ban Hope and his Purdue coaching staff from recruiting at the school.
This hire leads to further speculation of who will take the ranks as offensive coordinator for the Bulls. Reports have led to the possibility of the aforementioned Joe Kinnan as the main candidate, while others have suggested to even Taggart himself taking control of the offense. We will see what transpires as the year draws to a close.