BATON ROUGE, La. — Danny Etling has perhaps the most unique distinction in college football this season. Through no fault of his own, both full-time head coaches he has played for — Purdue’s Darrell Hazell and LSU’s Les Miles — have been fired within the past month.
And to make matters all the more peculiar, the coach Etling transferred to LSU to play for is now the name being thrown around as the potential best hire for the school he left behind in West Lafayette, Ind.
Given that he is the most qualified person within the Venn diagram of “Purdue football” and “Les Miles,” it only made sense to ask Etling about his thoughts on the subject of Miles potentially taking over the Boilermakers next year.
“I haven’t thought too much about that one,” said Etling, who is more preoccupied with his upcoming matchup Saturday against Ole Miss (9 p.m. ET, ESPN). “But obviously coach Miles is a great coach and Purdue would be lucky to have him. But I don’t want to comment too much on Purdue as far as that goes.”
Hazell was fired Sunday following Purdue’s 49-35 loss to Iowa and finished his four-year tenure at the school with a 9-33 record. Etling chose not to play full Miles advocate because he has too much respect for Purdue’s interim coach, Gerad Parker.
“He was there when I was there and he’s a great guy. He’s a coach I would love to play for and the guys on the team will love to play for,” Etling said. “I’m sure he’ll do a great job there.”
Because of his unique position, Etling spent some time Sunday dispensing advice to former teammates who asked about the changes he went through just a few short weeks ago when Ed Orgeron took over as LSU’s interim coach.
“A couple guys texted me and asked what the change was (like),” Etling said. “I know the guys like coach Parker, who is taking over, and they’ll be just fine.”
Etling, who left Purdue after two seasons to come to LSU as a backup to Brandon Harris, has no hard feelings toward Hazell, particularly considering how things are working out for him personally.
“We didn’t leave on too bad of terms, I think. He understood it and was very accommodating in letting me go, for the most part, where I wanted to go,” Etling said. “You never want to see anybody get fired. I hope him and his family are doing OK.”