Purdue football coach resigns in midst of sixth losing season

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Jim Colletto, unable to turn around a program that has not had a winning season since 1984, resigned Monday as Purdue’s football coach.
The Boilermakers are 2-6 this season.
Colletto, who came to Purdue in December 1990, compiled a 20-40-3 record in six seasons. He will coach the final three games this season, and the resignation will be effective when a new coach is hired.
“I’ve decided that the timing is right for me to step aside as head coach at the end of this season. I am tired and I’m concerned for my health,” Colletto said in a statement released through the Purdue sports information office.
“I feel this program is on a firm foundation now and is ready to move back into the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
“There’s a fine nucleus of players coming back next year. If they work hard and develop a winning attitude behind a new coach, they can get this program turned around.”
Purdue plays Michigan on Saturday and at Northwestern on Nov. 16, then finishes the season at home the following week against Indiana.
Colletto, 52, came to Purdue after serving as offensive coordinator for six years under John Cooper — three years at Arizona State and three years at Ohio State. Before that, he was offensive coordinator at Purdue from 1982-84.
Colletto previously coached at Cal State–Fullerton and was an assistant at UCLA, Brown, Xavier and Pacific. His overall record as a head coach is 35-72-4.
“I have asked Jim to stay on through next year to help with the transition to a new coach,” athletic director Morgan Burke said.
“Jim has done a wonderful job restoring credibility and competitiveness to our program and putting Purdue football in a position to achieve the kind of success in the future we can all be proud of.
“Jim has worked hard for six years and I appreciate his efforts.”
Colletto’s resignation came four days after Bill Mallory was fired at Indiana.
The Boilermakers’s best finish under Colletto was a 4-5-2 mark in 1994.
Purdue’s last winning season was 1984, when Colletto was an assistant and the Boilermakers finished 7-5 with a loss to Virginia in the Peach Bowl.
During his five years as head coach at Cal State-Fullerton, he compiled a 17-38-1 record. His best year there was 5-7 in 1978.
Colletto has a non-winning record against every Big Ten team. Purdue is 3-3 against the Gophers under Colletto and against Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, he is 0-11. He is also 0-6 against Notre Dame, one of Purdue’s biggest rivals, and has won two of five games against Indiana.
As a player, Colletto was part of UCLA’s 1965 Rose Bowl champion team.