Matt Painter: A Coach for the Players and the Community

Scott Atchison

“Death Taxes Matt Painter”- John Rothstein

Matt Painter has been a beloved basketball coach at the University of Purdue since his first year with the team. Painter has been with the team for 15 years entering the 2020-2021 season. His resume includes 5 sweet 16 appearances, 11 tournament births, 3 Big Ten regular-season championships and 1 Big Ten tournament championship. His career record at Purdue is 337-174 averaging around 23 wins per season. Purdue is also 1 of 4 to rank in the KenPom top 25 in the past 5 years (Duke, Kansas, Gonzaga). Lastly the six-winningest classes in Purdue history have come in the Painter era.

With a resume like this, many would be surprised if they were told Matt Painter has had one 5-star recruit play for him (Caleb Swanigan). Painter is known as one of the best development coaches in all of college basketball. For example, the 2018 class at Purdue had one top 100 recruit in Isaac Haas and that season Purdue won a school record of 30 games and pulled off a 19-game winning streak as well. The 2018 class is not the only class where Painter has turned an unranked team into a top team in the country.

The current 2020-2021 Purdue basketball team has no seniors and consist of 3 incoming freshman and 2 red shirt freshmen (Ethan Morton, Jaden Ivey, Zach Idey, Brandon Newman, and Mason Gillis). Purdue currently has a 12-6 record with the most Quad 1 and Quad 2 games played in the country. They are also tied with Alabama with most Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins, at 9 wins. These players excel on the court and in the books.

Matt Painter not only has his players focus on the court, but school as well. The 2016-2017 Purdue team earned a NABC Academic Excellence Award for having a 3.01 cumulative GPA as a team. Matt Painter has also produced 34 players who have earned a total of 64 Academic All-Big Ten awards. This heart that Painter puts into his players is something he also puts into the community.

Matt Painter spend his time off the court at local elementary schools, boys and girls clubs and participate in the Special Olympics clinics. Purdue has hosted a shopping spree for the less fortunate the past 9 years, with multiple members of the basketball organization giving put part of their holiday per diem to aid. Painter in 7 of the last 8 years has been a part of the Coaches Charity Challenge, raising over $200,000 for charity. Painter took home the award in 2015 and has placed top 4 in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Painter has impacted the Purdue basketball program and the community ever since he has joined the Boilermaker family. His coaching has led teams with no 5-star recruits and a small number of 4-star recruits to multiple tournament appearances. As Painter continues to get more and more 4-star recruits we should expect Painter to lead these teams and accomplish great things. Painter has his players focused on the court and education allowing his players to excel at both. Lastly Painter has spent his time spent off the court giving the back to the community as much as he can so that he can help those in need.