INDIANAPOLIS – Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter has had one of the most successful runs in school history.
It looks like he's about to cash in.
Painter will meet with Missouri officials regarding their vacant head coaching position. However, Purdue said in a statement that it is committed to keeping him.
"The Board of Trustees, president (France) Cordova and (athletic director) Morgan Burke clearly demonstrated the university's commitment to him and to our men's basketball program," Purdue spokesman Tom Schott said during a hastily arranged teleconference. "We are proactive. Although we will not go into any details at this time, we encourage Matt to stay, through our words and action. We want Matt to remain a Boilermaker."
The 40-year-old Painter has been selected the Big Ten's coach of the year three times and led the Boilermakers to Sweet 16 appearances in 2009 and 2010. Purdue (26-8) made it to the third round of this year's NCAA tournament but was knocked out by Final Four participant Virginia Commonwealth.
Last year, Purdue rewarded Painter with a new contract through the 2016-17 season. It includes a $1.3 million base salary and up to $1 million in incentives.
Purdue was successful this season despite losing top returning player Robbie Hummel to a torn ACL during preseason practice. Led by JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore, Purdue finished with a 16-0 record at Mackey Arena, the program's first undefeated home season since 1968-69. Johnson was chosen the conference player of the year and a first-team All-American, and Moore was an All-Big Ten selection.
Painter joined elite company by earning conference coach of the year honors again. Since the award's inception in 1974, just three others — former Purdue coach Gene Keady, Ohio State's Thad Matta and former Indiana coach Bob Knight — have won it at least three times.
Purdue officials want to give Painter an opportunity to add to his total after talking with him last night by phone.
"An effort is being made, has been made, was made," Schott said. "What was demonstrated last night is certainly enough of a starting point that he'll understand our desires."