University of South Florida Head Football Coach Willie Taggart today announced the addition of former Purdue University head coach Danny Hope to the Bulls’ staff as co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. The addition of the respected veteran Hope is part of a new Bulls’ offensive coaching structure that will see Taggart resume all play calling duties.
Hope will oversee the Bull’s run game and share offensive coordinator duties with current USF coach David Reaves, whom Taggart promoted to co-offensive coordinator with oversight of the Bulls’ passing attack. The pair will work closely with Taggart who will call the offensive plays. Taggart was the sole play caller during his first four seasons as a head coach before sharing some of those duties last season.
“Danny and David will do an excellent job of preparing our players and devising the best schemes to attack opposing defenses,” Taggart said.
Born in Gainesville, Fla. and a graduate of Miami’s Killian Senior High School, Hope served as head coach at Purdue from 2009-2012. He has over 30 years of coaching experience, nine as a head coach, including beginning his career as an assistant coach at Manatee HS (1981-84) in the Bay Area and helping the Hurricanes to the 1983 Florida Class 4A state title.
“Danny is one of the best offensive line coaches in college football and a Florida native with strong ties to the Bay Area,” Taggart said. “He is a leader and a great recruiter who has helped to build and orchestrate some very successful offenses at several stops in major college football. I’m excited to welcome Danny and his family back to Florida and get to work.”
Hope led the Boilermakers to victory in the 2011 Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl and bowl bids in each of his final two seasons. He owns a 57-49 record overall as a head coach, including leading Purdue to a victories over No. 7 ranked Ohio State (26-18) and Michigan (38-36) in 2009 as well as a win over No. 25 Northwestern and a school-record five-straight games with 200-plus yards rushing in 2010.
Hope also served as head coach at Eastern Kentucky (2003-2007) posting five straight winning seasons and a 35-22 record (.614) overall. He led the Colonels to a 9-3 record and first place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2007, for which he earned OVC Coach of the Year honors. EKU led the OVC in total offense in three seasons and posted three second-place finishes to go with the conference title.
As an assistant coach at four different programs, Hope was twice recognized as one of the nation’s top recruiters by Tom Lemming, editor of Prep Football Report.
Hope began his collegiate coaching career as the offensive line coach at Louisville (1985-94) where he worked for a decade under Howard Schnellenberger, who previously led Miami to the 1983 national championship. Over 10 seasons, he helped to make the Cardinal program nationally relevant, including a 10-1-1 campaign and a Fiesta Bowl victory in 1990. He followed Schnellenberger to serve as offensive line coach at Oklahoma in 1995 before leaving to serve as offensive line coach under head coach Joe Tiller at Wyoming in 1996. Cowboys’ quarterback Josh Wallwork threw for 4,090 yards and 33 touchdowns behind Hope’s offensive line that season.
When Tiller accepted the job as head coach at Purdue in 1997, he brought Hope with him. As offensive line coach for the Boilermakers (1997-2001), Hope helped to build lines that protected future NFL All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees and produced several NFL offensive linemen, including All-Pro Matt Light. Tiller was the first coach to use spread offenses in the Big Ten and Hope worked with him to help lead the Boilermakers to five straight bowl appearances, including the 2001 Rose Bowl. Brees was twice named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and won the 2000 Maxwell Award while Hope saw four offensive linemen selected in the NFL Draft and seven go on to play in the NFL. Light became Purdue’s first All-American offensive linemen since 1965.
Hope returned to Louisville as assistant head coach under John L. Smith in 2002 before being named head coach at Eastern Kentucky (2003-07). He returned to Purdue in 2008 to serve one year as assistant head coach/offensive line coach under Tiller before being elevated to head coach upon Tiller’s retirement.
Hope started as an offensive guard at Eastern Kentucky from 1977 to 1980 and was a member of the 1979 Division I-AA national championship team and captain of the 1980 national runner-up squad. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in health education.
He and his wife, Sally, have a son, Chaz, who played at Eastern Kentucky.