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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Coaching search continues as Painter sticks with Purdue

The 40-year-old coach signed an eight-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season.

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In a news conference June 11, 2010, Athletic Director Mike Alden takes questions regarding Big 12 conference realignment. Alden has led a committee in search of a new head basketball coach for Missouri since Mike Anderson's departure last week.

Travis Cornejo/Senior Staff Photographer

Matt Painter will not be the next head coach of the Missouri men’s basketball team. After meeting with Missouri officials in Orlando on Tuesday, the 40-year-old three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year award winner opted to sign an 8-year extension with Purdue.

"At the end of the day, my heart is at Purdue, and this is a place where I want to win a national championship," Painter said in a statement Wednesday.

Painter’s new contract extension will keep him with his alma mater through the 2018-2019 season.

Other terms of the contract were not disclosed.

"We are thrilled to announce that Matt will continue his leadership of our men's basketball program at his alma mater," Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said in a press release on the school’s athletic website. "He has been at the helm of the winningest four-year period in the storied history of Boilermaker basketball, and we pledge to work with him to win championships."

MU Athletics Director Mike Alden and the other members of the coaching search committee met with Painter in Orlando Tuesday afternoon, and reports on Wednesday made it appear he was going to accept Missouri’s offer. In the end, however, Painter elected to finish what he started at Purdue.

"I am extremely excited about continuing my career at Purdue,” Painter said. “I believe we have built something very special. At the same time, I feel we have much more ahead of us to accomplish.”

In his statement, Painter also made note of some of the facility upgrades already underway at Purdue. These upgrades include a $99.5 million renovation of Mackey Arena that will include a new training facility for the basketball team.

"There's a lot to be excited about right now with Purdue basketball. We are moving into our new offices and locker room complex over the next couple of weeks,” Painter said. “Our program is built on hard work, and we are ready to get back to improving as a team and a staff."

Painter’s former coach Gene Keady told The Indianapolis Star that he believed Painter made the right decision.

“I think it’s the right thing to do," Keady said. "It’s a better job. Now it’s up to Purdue to give him the leadership and foundation he needs to be a national champion. It’s up to Purdue now.”

For Alden and the rest of the coaching committee, it is back to the drawing board. Tuesday, Athletics Department spokesman Chad Moller called the search “ongoing,” but outside of Painter, it does not appear that Missouri has approached any other potential candidates.

East Saint Louis-native Cuonzo Martin, who appeared to be a strong candidate for the job, was eliminated when he left Missouri State to take over at Tennessee over the weekend.

Shortly after news about Painter staying at Purdue became official, Buzz Williams effectively took his name out of the running by re-signing with Marquette.

During a news conference last week, Alden stressed the importance of the committee taking its time to find the best candidate for the job.

“We don’t want to sacrifice the quality for speed. I think with us certainly identifying who we are, what the characteristics are that we’re looking for, scanning out there — who’s going to be a good fit for our brand at the University of Missouri?” Alden said. “We have to identify the person that fits our brand the best.”

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