Here's a list of coaches Indiana could have hired who would have impressed the college basketball world, and worried Purdue fans.
Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics. Chris Beard of Texas Tech. Shaka Smart, before he left Texas for Marquette. Scott Drew of Baylor. Thad Matta, retired Ohio State coach. John Beilien, former Michigan coach, Porter Moser of Loyola Chicago, Eric Musselman of Arkansas, Mark Few of top-ranked Gonzaga. Nate Oats of Alabama. Chris Holtman of Ohio State.
Instead Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson reached 40 years into the past to hire Mike Woodson, who at age 63 was stuck in a nowhere assistant coaching position for the hapless, poorly run New York Knicks organization. If Woodson was not a former IU star, there is no way he would have been considered for the Hoosiers post.
Judging from the mismanagement of the Indiana basketball program since Bob Knight's firing in 2000, Woodson will fit right in. Mike Davis resigned under pressure in 2006. Kelvin Sampson was fired for NCAA violations in 2008. Tom Crean was fired in 2017. Now, Archie Miller fired after four seasons and no wins against Purdue.
We're in year 21 A.K. (after Knight) and the Hoosiers are still living in the past. The Indiana job is no longer viewed in the same way that Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas are today – by coaches and recruits.
It's understandable for Indiana fans and administration to want a coach with ties to Knight. But it's also been 34 years since IU's most recent national championship and there were signs over his final decade that modern basketball was passing by Knight.
Indiana high school athletic directors and a handful of coaches my age will remember Woodson as a great Big Ten player in the period between the undefeated 1976 national champion Hoosiers and the arrival of Isiah Thomas in 1979. Will today's teen-agers care?
Woodson, to his credit, was able to lead the Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks to a combined five playoff berths in his nine-year NBA head coaching career. But Woodson hasn't been a head coach since 2014, when the Knicks fired him. Woodson's career head coaching record is 315-365.
No college coaching experience. No experience in recruiting. Like Juwan Howard at Michigan, who wisely hired longtime St.Joseph's (Pa.) coach Phil Martelli to be his No. 1 assistant, Woodson is going to have to assemble a staff that can make up for any shortcomings. A must will be an assistant with deep ties to Indiana, Illinois and Ohio.
Woodson wasn't the only strange hire made Sunday by Indiana. Former Ohio State and Butler coach Thad Matta was given the newly created position of associate athletic director for men's basketball administration.
As associate athletic director, Matta cannot coach during games nor recruit under NCAA rules, which limit staffs to three full-time assistant coaches who are allowed to recruit off campus in addition to the head coach.
Woodson's hiring completes a week that saw three Big Ten jobs filled by men with no collegiate head coaching experience. Days after Penn State hired former Purdue and Brad Stevens assistant Micah Shrewsberry, Minnesota chose Xavier assistant Ben Johnson, a former Gophers player and five-year assistant to the recently dismissed Richard Pitino.
All three new coaches must rebuild their rosters decimated by entries into the transfer portal. In Woodson's case, starting guard Aljami Durham already has transferred to Providence but he reportedly convinced former Tennessee-Martin transfer Parker Stewart, a 6-5 senior guard, to exit the transfer portal on Wednesday.
Two other 2021 Indiana starters, Armaan Franklin and Race Thompson remain in the portal along with former five-star recruit Khristian Lander and fellow freshman Jordan Geronimo.
If those four are gone for good and Trayce Jackson-Davis enters the NBA Draft, Woodson may be looking at a 2009-like rebuild in Bloomington.

Best two out of three?
The late Morgan Burke, when faced with two critical decisions on who should replace Purdue legends Gene Keady and Joe Tiller, chose the coach-in-waiting method.
One, hiring a 34-year-old Matt Painter who won 25 games in his only season as a Division I head basketball coach at Southern Illinois, worked out for Burke and the Boilermakers.
The other, Danny Hope, didn’t. In retrospect, Hope never had a chance with the lack of financial backing later given to Darrell Hazell and Jeff Brohm. Hope didn’t give himself a chance, either, by mixing upset victories over Michigan and Ohio State with blowout losses to Wisconsin and Iowa. Lack of people skills and even more paranoia toward the media than the average college football coach alienated Hope to those who might have campaigned for another chance after a 6-6 season in 2012.
Now, current Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski is hoping for Painter-like results by bringing in former Indiana Miss Basketball Katie Geralds as the replacement for Sharon Versyp after the 2021-22 season.
Unlike Keady and Tiller, who earned their season-long farewells with Big Ten championships and coach of the year honors during their tenure, Versyp oversaw the decline of the conference’s only women’s basketball national championship program. The reported $600,000 salary for the final year of her contract likely was the tipping point for keeping Versyp one more season.
That money-saving decision has already cost the program its best player, Karissa McLaughlin and 2021 leading scorer Kayana Traylor. McLaughlin is heading to Marquette as a graduate transfer while Traylor departs with two years of eligibility remaining.
During Versyp’s 16 seasons, Purdue has been bypassed by Notre Dame and Indiana, which reached the Elite Eight this season under former Purdue guard Teri Moren. While Muffet McGraw built Notre Dame into a national power at Purdue’s expense, Versyp never took responsibility for the poor offensive game plans or the frustrating lack of discipline when it came to protecting the basketball.
As for Gearlds, the one year as associate head coach should not only help her ease into NCAA Division I coaching, it could also allow her to lay the foundation for future recruiting success. Painter turned his year under Keady into efforts to recruit the Baby Boilers class of Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore.
Gearlds leaves Marian University as the school’s winningest coach (228-50) and with NAIA national championships in 2016 and 2017. She was a three-time NAIA National Coach of the Year while leading Marian to six consecutive Crossroads League regular season titles.
“Honestly, it just feels like I am coming home,” Gearlds said. “I am thoroughly excited for the opportunity to help put Purdue back on the national scene. Purdue is the next step for me and it’s a step I feel like I was born to take.”
Gearlds was a three-year starter at Purdue under coaches Kristy Curry and Versyp. She still ranks fourth in program history with 1,974 points. With Gearlds in the lineup, Purdue reached three NCAA Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight.
After graduating from Purdue, Gearlds played three seasons in the WNBA with the Seattle Storm.
It will be a giant rebuilding task for Gearlds. Purdue has not finished in last place since 1983-84, when it went 1-17 in the Big Ten and 5-23 overall under the late Ruth Jones. The Boilermakers are staring at a similar result in 2021-22.
The once-proud Purdue women’s basketball program has been surpassed by Dave Shondell’s eighth-ranked volleyball team, which defeated former No. 9 Ohio State in a pair of matches over the weekend in Columbus. Those were the first home losses since 2019 for the Buckeyes.
As a result, the Boilermakers swept the Big Ten weekly awards for the first time in program history on Monday. Grace Cleveland claimed Player of the Week honors, Jena Otec is the Defensive Player of the Week, Hayley Bush won co-Setter of the Week and Taylor Trammell is the Freshman of the Week.
Cleveland also became the fourth Boilermaker in program history to be selected AVCA National Player of the Week when the coaches organization honored her Wednesday. She joins former greats Ariel Turner (2011, 2012), Rachel Davis (2011) and Purdue Hall of Fame member Stephanie Lynch (2006) to receive the honor.

Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Courier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.