Purdue Athletic Director Mike Bobinski and Board Chair Mike Berghoff present Mike Tiller, son of late former Purdue coach Joe Tiller, and his family a special ball as the Boilermakers face Minnesota Saturday, October 7, 2017, at Ross-Ade Stadium.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Joe Tiller first impacted Brian Alford’s life with his compassion.

Alford, one of Purdue’s top receivers when Tiller took over the program after the 1996 season, was dropped from the roster for academic reasons that winter.

Tiller was originally scheduled to attend Saturday’s ceremonies recognizing his first Purdue team, which advanced to the program’s first bowl in 13 years.

Purdue held a moment of silence to honor Tiller and the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

The following week, the Boilermakers snapped an 11-game losing streak to in-state rival Notre Dame.JOE TILLER: He breathed new life into Purdue football.

JOE TILLER: Memorable quotes from the former Purdue coach.