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Former Purdue coach Gene Keady gets extreme makeover 

St. John Special Assistant/Advisor Gene Keady during first half Allstate ArenRosemont Ill. Saturday January 19 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times

St. John Special Assistant/Advisor Gene Keady during the first half at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., on Saturday, January 19, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 21, 2013 10:25AM

Recognize this man?

One of college basketball’s most iconic looks has undergone a 21st-century makeover. Look closely, and you might recognize a Big Ten legend.

Out is the jet-black lacquered comb-over he sported on the sideline for years. In is an updated, bald-dome look that’s ringed with his natural gray hair.

It’s like seeing Santa without his beard or Superman without his cape. It’s definitely an extreme makeover for 76-year-old former Purdue coach Gene Keady.

He was spotted at the St. John’s-DePaul game Saturday at Allstate Arena. Keady has helped his former assistant and Red Storm coach Steve Lavin in a special assistant/adviser role for the last three seasons.

The seven-time Big Ten coach of the year also is a newlywed. Widowed after 28 years of marriage to Pat in 2009, Keady married Kathleen Petrie in June at a Nike camp in Hawaii.

It was a casual affair. His former assistant Bruce Weber — the former Illinois coach now at Keady’s alma mater, Kansas State — served as best man, and Minnesota coach Tubby Smith escorted the bride down the aisle.

So it’s a new year, new wife and new look for the old coach. Way to let your hair down, Gene.

Toni Ginnetti

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