basketball Edit

Grady Eifert remaining at Purdue, joining Matt Painter's staff

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Grady Eifert's playing career is over; his contributions to the program, however, will continue.

The outgoing Boilermaker senior and captain said Tuesday that he's accepted one of Purdue's graduate assistant coaching positions, spots on Matt Painter's staff vacated by D.J. Byrd and Joey Brooks after their two-year G.A. appointments expired.

"I was going over some things about whether I wanted to try to play overseas or go into the real world," Eifert said. "But coaching's always been one of my dreams and just being able to learn from Coach (Matt Painter) the last four years, and feel like going to go coach a team right now."

Graduate assistant coaches — newly added in recent years after Mike Bobinski became athletic director — have been an important addition to Purdue's staff, responsible largely for providing general assistance for Painter and his assistant coaches, scouting, player development work, etc.

"Just wanting to stay around (basketball)," Eifert said of his desire to coach. "I've grown up around it and I've just tried to pay attention the best I could, here at Purdue or back when I was in high school. I enjoy the competitiveness it brings out and I think just being around basketball again will be awesome.

"A big part of the reason to do it is to find out whether coaching is in my future and if not, then I was able to learn how it works, how to go about it, and then leaving Purdue with a Master's and an undergrad (degree) would be huge."

With Eifert lined up, Purdue has one other G.A. spot to fill. It's offered a position to former point guard P.J. Thompson, GoldandBlack.com has learned. Thompson played professionally this past season in Denmark.

Eifert's acceptance of the coaching positions means any thoughts he may have had about attempting to play football for Purdue in the fall are no more. He admitted to considering it in recent months.

"It was on the table," Eifert said, "but it's such a hard transition. People think, 'Your brother's in the NFL, you should be able to do it easily,' but I'd have to have put on 25 pounds of muscle and jump right into it this summer. I was a little banged up from the season and took a couple weeks off. It's, 'I can't go work out again right now.'

"But it was definitely on the table. But just talking it over with my family, and my brother, it was just a lot of work for only a little time. Maybe if I had a few more years to work on it or put some weight on, maybe I could do it. Then you have to be good at it, too. You can't just expect anything, and I haven't played football since sophomore year in high school."

ROSTER NOTE

Purdue freshman walk-on Kyle King has elected to discontinue his playing career with the Boilermakers, GoldandBlack.com has learned.

The forward and Purdue legacy — he's the grandson of former Purdue coach and athletic director George King — was invited to walk on out of high school. He appeared in eight games this season, totaling 16 minutes.

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