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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 11:40 pm

Eifert accepts grad assistant position at Purdue

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Former Purdue forward and Bishop Dwenger graduate Grady Eifert will be a graduate assistant on coach Matt Painter's staff for the 2019-20 season. 

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

Eifert will pursue a Master's degree at Purdue while he works as a grad assistant and will get an introduction to the coaching profession. He isn't sure if that's what he wants to do for his career, but he'll probably have a much better idea with the experience he gets under Painter.

The Fort Wayne native's acceptance of the grad assistantship ends any speculation that he could play football for the Boilermakers in the fall. The 6-foot-6 Eifert, whose brother Tyler plays for the Cincinnati Bengals, had actively considered using his final season of eligibility to play on the gridiron for Purdue, but decided against it in part because of the physical demands.

"It was on the table," Eifert said of football. "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 (basketball) season and took a couple weeks off. It's, 'I can't go work out again right now.'"

Eifert averaged 5.5 points and 5.2 rebounds for the Boilermakers in 2018-19 as Purdue reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 2000. The former walk-on was the most efficient offensive player in college basketball, according to Ken Pomeroy's ratings. 

Purdue is still looking to fill its second grad assistant position and has reportedly offered it to former Boilermaker guard P.J. Thompson. Thompson played for Purdue from 2014 to 2018 and played the 2018-19 season professionally in Denmark. His younger brother, Isaiah Thompson, will be a freshman suiting up for the Boilermakers' basketball team this season.

dsinn@jg.net