GoldandBlack - Welcoming Tom Dienhart to
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Welcoming Tom Dienhart to

Tom Dienhart brings a lot of college football experience to the staff of
Tom Dienhart brings a lot of college football experience to the staff of

Brian and I are excited to announce the hiring of Tom Dienhart as our new associate editor. We have known Tom for literally decades. and are happy that this day finally came where we are working together on a full-time basis. Tom's unique perspective on and experience in college football, his strong communications skills and his passion for Purdue, give him all the tools to be an excellent analyst (he can be constructively critical, no worries) and reporter on the Boilermakers. He starts with us on Monday, and we look forward to it and think you will too.

Better yet, we thought it appropriate for Tom to introduce himself. Maybe it is more accurate to say for many of you Tom is re-introducing himself.. Either way, here goes:

Let me just come right out and say it: I am honored and lucky to cover Purdue football for

I have crisscrossed the nation covering college football games during my 30 years in the business, from Los Angeles, to Pullman, to Tempe, to Boulder, to Norman, to Lincoln, to Fayetteville, to Oxford, to Knoxville, to Ann Arbor, to Athens, to Morgantown, to Chapel Hill, to Gainesville and to Miami ...

But my heart was always in West Lafayette.

No matter where I was on Saturday, I had to find out how Purdue did. And, I often wished I was in the Ross-Ade Stadium press box—especially during the Joe Tiller era. Now, I get to be part of the rebirth of Purdue football under Jeff Brohm. These next few years could be a lot of fun.

I have my parents to thank for my Purdue passion. My father was a 1958 Boilermaker grad who used to tell me about sitting by Len Dawson in P.E. Classes (they sat in alphabetical order). My mom is dipped in Gold and Black, too, graduating in 1960. Each went on to a long career at Purdue, with both working in the residence halls. My sister, aunts, uncles, cousins ... they all went to Purdue.

I followed along with my father to games at Ross-Ade Stadium. My earliest memories are of sitting in the Knothole section during the Alex Agase era with Mark Vitali at quarterback. In the late 1970s, I became hooked during the Mark Herrmann era. Loved the Junk Defense.

Like my father, I attended West Lafayette High School, which is literally and figuratively in the shadow of Ross-Ade Stadium. You can walk to Mackey Arena from my mother’s house in 10 minutes. So, when it came time to pick a college, I had three choices:

Purdue Purdue Purdue

I was a student from 1983-87, working for the Exponent and Sports Information office while living in a fraternity in Tower Acres. Great memories doing stories on Rod Woodson, a walk-on linebacker named Kevin Sumlin and watching some great Gene Keady teams led by Troy Lewis, Everette Stephens and Todd Mitchell.

Now, after a career that has taken me from Host Communications, to The Sporting News, to Yahoo!/, to The Big Ten Network, I get to part of the Purdue scene again. And, it’s pretty cool.

Some quick football memories:

My favorite story: In October 2000 when I was with SN, I spent the week of the epic Ohio State game with Drew Brees, following him during his daily routine. I had him come to my parent’s house on Forest Hill Dr., to meet my family and newborn son, Cal.

Tom Dienhart, son Cal, and Drew Brees in 2000.
Tom Dienhart, son Cal, and Drew Brees in 2000.

My favorite player: Rod Woodson. A man among boys. Who can forget the 1986 Bucket Game?

My favorite game: 1997 at home vs. Michigan State. I watch that clip of Rosy Colvin running back that blocked field goal a few times each year.

Some quick basketball memories:

My fav player: Glenn Robinson. Averaged national-best 30.1 points. National player of the year. Unstoppable. Never will forget his 49 points vs. Illinois.

My fav game: How about a 15-14 Purdue team beating No. 4 IU, 61-59, in the 1991-92 finale?

My fav team: 1987-88, as the “Three Amigos” went 29-4 and finished No. 3 in the AP poll as two-time Big Ten champs.

I have to thank Alan Karpick for this opportunity. I have known Alan since 1985, when we both worked in the SID office with Jim Vruggink and he had developed a Purdue trivia board game. He is Mr. Purdue. And I have to thank Brian Neubert, who I have known for almost 20 years. Working with that tandem makes this position even better.

My goal: to make you a better fan by informing and engaging you ... and hopefully having some fun along the way.

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