Purdue athletics director Morgan J. Burke announced the hiring of Darrell Hazell as head football coach. The 48-year-old Hazell becomes the 35th football coach in school history. Terms of the agreement were not announced.
"Darrell is a great fit to build on our existing foundation," Burke said. "His leadership at Kent State, combined with his prior experience at Ohio State and other stops along the way, has prepared him to help us continue to move toward developing a championship-caliber program. He understands our '25/85' vision as well as our desire to recruit both locally and nationally. Furthermore, it is clear that he appreciates the Cradle of Quarterbacks tradition, and it will remain a focal point of our program."
"I'm extremely excited to work with the players at Purdue, and I look forward to experiencing a lot of success in the future," Hazell said. "It's a wonderful opportunity. Purdue University has a great football tradition, and I can't wait to get started."
Hazell (HAY-zull) comes to the Boilermakers from Kent State, where he served as head coach for the last two seasons, compiling a 16-9 record. The Golden Flashes have enjoyed arguably their most-successful season ever in 2012. They are 11-2 after winning their first-ever Mid-American Conference East Division Championship and will play in their first bowl game in 40 years. Hazell was named the 2012 MAC Coach of the Year, the third Kent State to be so honored, following Don James (1972) and Glen Mason (1986).
Kent State's 11 wins are a school record. The Flashes won six games on the road, including a 35-23 victory at No. 15 Rutgers, their first-ever against a ranked opponent. They became the first MAC East team to finish 8-0 in the conference since 2003 and climbed to as high as No. 17 in the Bowl Championship Series standings. Kent State currently is ranked No. 25 heading into the GoDaddy.com Bowl against Arkansas State on Jan. 6, 2013.
In his first year at the helm, Hazell led Kent State to wins in four of its final five games and had the Flashes playing for bowl eligibility in their last contest. Five opponents went on to win bowl games, including national champion Alabama.
Off the field, Kent State football players became more visible in the community under Hazell, while the team grade-point average improved. During the 2012 spring semester, a program-record 50 players had GPA's above 3.0.
Prior to his stint at Kent State, Hazell spent seven seasons at Ohio State, where he served as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach under Jim Tressel. From 2005 to 2010, the Buckeyes won six consecutive Big Ten Conference championships and played in six straight BCS bowls, including appearances in the 2007 and 2008 national championship games. Ohio State featured dual-threat quarterbacks Troy Smith and Terrelle Pryor, and among its receivers were Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Santonio Holmes and DeVier Posey. A 27-year veteran of the college coaching ranks, Hazell previously coached at Rutgers (2001-03), West Virginia (1999-2000), the U.S. Military Academy (1997-98), Western Michigan (1995-96), Pennsylvania (1992-94), Eastern Illinois (1988) and Oberlin (1986-87, 1989-91).
Hazell is a 1986 graduate of Muskingum College with a B.A. in speech communications and business. He was a three-time all-conference selection as a wide receiver. As a senior, he earned All-America honors and was voted a team captain. A native of Cinnaminson, N.J., Hazell (born April 14, 1964) and his wife, Annmarie, have a son, Kyle.