WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Tom Schott joined Purdue University's athletics department on a 10-month internship.
He stayed for nearly 30 years.
From 1990 to 2010, Schott rose from a graduate intern to senior asscoiate athletics director for communications. He also witnessed several unforgettable events..
Schott attended Ohio Wesleyan University, but his love for the Boilermakers runs deep.
Last winter, Schott spent a lot of time in his basement office typing.
"One day it's Rick Mount," Schott said. "The next day it's Katie Douglas and then it's Joe Tiller and then it's Brees to Morales"
Schott also spent a lot of time navigating the Purdue Athletics archives.
"Research is one of my passions," Schott said.
The research and writing was for his new book, 100 Things Purdue Fan Should Know & Do Before They Die.
"It's an easy read, but it's hard to put down, said Schott.
The book is a compilation of the greatest Purdue vignettes. Former Lafayette Journal & Courier sportswriter Nathan Baird started the project, but he was unable to finish after accepting a new job at Cleveland.com.
That's when Schott dove in ..
"It took me about five minutes to say yes," Schott said.
Five minutes turned into three months.
"You think you remember every detail then you realize, "Oh yeah that did happen that way or that's not exactly how I remembered it I'm glad I double checked,"' Schott said.
The experience tested Schott's memory. It challenged his decision-making.
"There were some tough calls to make," Schott said. "It would be easy to do another 100 if we ever got that opportunity down the road."
And it was nostalgic.
The first sentence to start chapter five reads: "Joe Tiller ranks as one of the most beloved and popular figures in Purdue Athletics history."
"He was everybody's friend," said Schott. "He was the guy next door. You can borrow all the cliches that you want, but he was that. He was a down-to-earth, no ego, who happened to win a lot of football games.
Tiller's legacy is one of 100 things Purdue fans should know.
"If you're a Purdue fan, it's a no-brainer," Schott said.
And Do Before They Die.
This is Schott's sixth book and fourth on Purdue. You can purchase it at the local bookstores in Greater Lafayette and online through Amazon, the publisher Triumph Books and many more booksellers. It costs $16.95.