But academia doesn't work that way. Yeah, it's not like an inside hire's never happened. But this, from the Chronicle forums, is dead on:
My favorite metaphor for this scenario is old whore/wife comparison. As an adjunct for these years, you have been their whore. They like you, they like the "service" you provide them, but they will never commit to you. They can't see you as "wife" material.
But my friend has got a good paper out, and his students and colleagues do like him. And yeah, he's worked himself into the ground for their department. So it's hard not to keep my hopes for the guy in check.