OSU assistant takes Kent State job
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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