Retired Purdue Boilermakers men’s basketball coach Gene Keady made many trips to Northwest Indiana during his coaching days. Recently, (9/8), he returned to be honored as Purdue University Calumet’s inaugural Honorary Peregrine.
Current Boilermakers head man and former Purdue player Matt Painter accompanied his former coach, who was recognized during a benefit for the Purdue Calumet Peregrines’ men’s and women’s basketball programs. Keady, a long-time friend of retired Purdue Calumet Athletics Director John Friend, was presented with a crystal peregrine statue. Keady and Painter also signed autographs for a host of fans and supporters.
“We wanted to honor Coach Keady, not only for his teams’ great successes in the Big Ten and post-season tournaments, but also for his great example of professionalism and passion for his student-athletes and for the game of basketball for many years,” Purdue Calumet Asst. Vice Chancellor for Health, Recreation and Sports/Athletics Director Robert Bunnell said.
During the benefit, Bunnell also detailed Purdue Calumet plans for expanding its intercollegiate athletics program from the current two sports teams (men’s and women’s basketball) to 12 teams over the next five years. Beginning next fall, Purdue Calumet plans to add teams in men’s and women tennis, men’s golf and women’s volleyball, followed in subsequent years with teams in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s baseball and women’s softball. Purdue Calumet is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
“As we grow our athletic program at Purdue University Calumet,” Bunnell said, “Coach Keady will stand as an example of the dedication and excellence that we hope that all of our student-athletes and coaches will emulate.”