Purdue fires Hazell with 9-33 record
Darrell Hazell never won consecutive games at Purdue and his latest attempt to string together a couple of victories turned out to be his last.
Purdue fired Hazell on Sunday midway through his fourth season and less than 24 hours after the Boilermakers again could not win two in a row.
Hazell was 9-33 overall with just three Big Ten Conference victories since taking over in 2013. At .220, he finished with the worst winning percentage of any Purdue coach in 95 years.
His dismissal had seemed almost inevitable entering this season, but a 3-2 start with victories over Eastern Kentucky and Nevada, along with an overtime win over Illinois on Oct. 8, gave some hope that he would be given a full season to show progress.
Then the Boilermakers lost, 49-35, to Iowa on homecoming Saturday; they trailed 42-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
“The hope was that we would build on the victory at Illinois and carry it over to the Iowa game,” athletic director Mike Bobinski said Sunday. “It didn’t happen. We weren’t showing progress, so it was time to make a change.”
Bobinski, who was hired away from Georgia Tech in August to replace the retiring Morgan Burke, said he met with Hazell on Sunday morning.
“Darrell was disappointed, but as he always is, he was a gentleman,” Bobinski said. “From the first time I met Darrell, I could tell he was a man of high character, but our inconsistent performance and inability to generate positive momentum — along with the disappointing results of the past three seasons — made it clear to me that we needed to make a change.”
Wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Gerad Parker was named interim coach. Parker is in his fourth season on staff.
Along with failing performance came sagging attendance at Purdue. The Boilermakers have averaged 32,078 fans at Ross-Ade Stadium, capacity 62,000, for four home games. That’s down from 37,152 last season.
Purdue is building a $65 million football facility.
The last Purdue coach to have a worse winning percentage than Hazell was William Henry Dietz, who went 1-6 in 1921.
Hazell, 52, was hired away from Kent State, where the former Ohio State assistant went 16-10 with a Mid-American Conference championship in 2012. He replaced Danny Hope at Purdue. Hope had gone 22-27 in four seasons as successor to Joe Tiller, the winningest coach in school history, with 87 victories.
Hazell has two years left on his original six-year contract worth $12.75 million and he will be paid the full amount.
The Boilermakers went to 10 bowl games, including the 2001 Rose Bowl, under Tiller, who retired after the 2008 season, but have finished with a winning record only once since.
Saturday night’s games: J.T. Barrett threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Noah Brown in overtime, and No. 2 Ohio State finished off No. 8 Wisconsin with a sack on fourth-and-goal from the 4 for a 30-23 win Saturday night.
Barrett also ran for two touchdowns for the visiting Buckeyes (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten Conference), who passed their toughest road test of the season.
Barrett finished 17-for-29 for 226 yards with one interception, and ran for 92 yards on 21 carries. Corey Clement ran for 164 yards on 25 car- ries for Wisconsin (4-2, 1-2).
Jared Cornelius scored on a 6-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to lift No. 22 Arkansas to a 34-30 win over No. 12 Mississippi.
Austin Allen was 19-of-32 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns for the Razorbacks (5-2, 1-2 Southeastern Conference), giving the junior an SEC-best 18 touchdown passes for the season.
Chad Kelly accounted for 342 yards of total offense for the Rebels (3-3, 1-2), throwing for 253 yards and rushing for 89 more. The senior also threw for a touchdown and ran for two more.
Jeremy McNichols ran for an 80-yard touchdown to break open a close game, and No. 15 Boise State (6-0, 3-0 Mountain West Conference) withstood a late rally by visiting Colorado State (3-4, 1-2) in a 28-23 win.
Emeke Egbule returned a fumble 24 yards for a touchdown with 1:21 remaining to give host No. 13 Houston (6-1, 3-1 American Athletic Conference) a 38-31 win over Tulsa (4-2, 1-1).
The Golden Hurricane had a chance to tie the score, but Jesse Brubaker was stopped just short of the goal line after a reception on the last play of the game. The play was reviewed and upheld.
Center Jesse Burkett recovered a fumble in the end zone after teammate Bryce Love lost the ball at the goal line, Stanford’s only offensive touchdown, and cornerback Quenton Meeks returned an interception 50 yards for a score as the Cardinal (4-2) rallied from 10 points down to earn a 17-10 victory over host Notre Dame (2-5).
Darrell Hazell’s winning percentage of .220 since 2013 was the worst for any Purdue coach in 95 years.