WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue coach Joe Tiller is smiling. He's even a little playful. You would be, too, if you were within third-and-short of retirement.
On this late May day, Tiller glances out his office window toward Ross-Ade Stadium. Tiller is a big man with shoulders and arms any Teamster would be proud of. But he's as much teddy bear as he is grizzly bear, a family man whose focus drifts toward tomorrow as he fingers his trademark mustache, picks up a stack of photos and points.
"This is the house my wife and I are building in Wyoming," he says. "It will be nice. My wife, Arnette, will have another place where she can do her artwork."
Tiller, 65, smiles again, then quickly turns serious as he mentions the upcoming season. It will be Tiller's "victory lap," a cherry on top of what posterity will preserve as a glorious 12-year run for the Boilermakers. Tiller will leave Purdue as the school's greatest coach.
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