OSU as­sis­tant takes Kent State job

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS - By Ken Gor­don The Colum­bus Dispatch

COLUM­BUS — The chal­lenge of turn­ing around a mori­bund Kent State foot­ball pro­gram may seem large, but Dar­rell Hazell is un­daunted.

The Ohio State re­ceivers coach had been an as­sis­tant for 25 years un­til Mon­day, when the Golden Flashes hired him.

“I’ve waited a long time for this,” Hazell said at a news con­fer­ence in Kent. “I know we can win here. I spent a lot of time study­ing film last week, and we are real close.”

The job came open in Novem­ber when Doug Martin an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion af­ter seven years, go­ing 28-53 over­all, in­clud­ing 5-7 this year. Since 1987, the Golden Flashes of the Mid-Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence have had only one win­ning sea­son (6-5 in 2001).

It’s to the point that the school pres­i­dent, Lester Lefton, said at the news con­fer­ence: “I’ve of­ten said that we have a long, rich tra­di­tion of not do­ing par­tic­u­larly well in foot­ball. But that’s about to change.”

Hazell’s base salary will be $300,000, with some con­tract de­tails still pend­ing.

Hazell, 46, will con­tinue to coach with Ohio State through the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4. He coached at OSU’s morn­ing prac­tice Mon­day, then drove to Kent and back to Colum­bus Mon­day night so he could be at OSU’s prac­tice to­day.

He said he felt he owed it to the Buck­eyes play­ers not to leave them be­fore the end of the sea­son.

Cen­ter Mike Brew­ster said he will feel Hazell’s loss deeply.

“I would say I’m def­i­nitely go­ing to have to shed a tear for that one,” Brew­ster said. “He’s one of those peo­ple you want to have around you.”

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