Report: Kent State's Darrell Hazell leaving for Purdue

By Allen Moff | Staff Writer Published:

All signs point towards Kent State University losing its beloved football coach.

A day filled with rumors surrounding Golden Flashes second-year mentor Darrell Hazell ended Tuesday with a source close to but not within the football program saying "it looks like something is going to happen very soon with Purdue."

Although several media outlets confirmed that Hazell had accepted the Purdue job at various times throughout the day, according to university officials nothing was finalized as of late Tuesday night. However, yet another Kent State source says a staff meeting has been scheduled prior to a team meeting around 6:30 Wednesday morning.

And a slew of unofficial Purdue sources, including Eric Gardner of the website "The Black Hammer," pronounced it a done deal Tuesday night.

Neither Hazell nor Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen returned messages seeking comment on Tuesday.

Another source said that Hazell was in serious discussions with Boilermakers officials Tuesday afternoon when another team came into play. That team may have been Purdue's Big Ten rival Wisconsin, which lost head coach Bret Bielema to Arkansas on Tuesday.

Hazell, 48, signed a five-year contract after taking over the Kent State program in 2011 following a seven-year stint as an assistant coach at Ohio State. His base salary was $300,000, plus about $76,000 in incentives, and a buyout in his contract is reportedly in the $750,000 range.

Hazell resurrected a Kent State program that had enjoyed only two winning seasons since 1978 before this year. After starting 1-6 in his first season, the Flashes finished the 2011 campaign 4-1. They then proceeded to rip off a school-record 10 consecutive victories this season to earn the Mid-American Conference East Division championship and a spot in the MAC Championship Game against defending champion Northern Illinois.

The Huskies defeated the Flashes 44-37 in double-overtime and wound up earning a bid to the Orange Bowl, while Kent State (11-2) received a bid to the GoDaddy.com Bowl against Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State (9-3) on Jan. 6 in Mobile, Ala.

The Flashes will make just their third bowl appearance, and first since 1972.

Ironically, Arkansas State also lost its head coach as Gus Malzahn left the Red Wolves to take over Auburn.

The Boilermakers are seeking a replacement for Danny Hope, who was relieved of his duties on Nov. 25 after compiling a 22-27 record in four seasons. University of Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones was Purdue's first choice to replace Hope, but he declined.

Purdue is expected to formally announce Hazell as its new head coach Wednesday.

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  • Well if this guy has a 5 year contract, why are they letting him out of it? Will he have to pay KSU the $750,000.00 amount for the contract buy out? Will Purdue pay the money? Well, so much for school loyalty. He needs to consider that he will be competing against much better coaches and players when he goes to Purdue. I do not think he will do as well.

  • Sorry KSU.....it's a business!