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Reports: Purdue to get Kent coach

Hazell, 48, guided Golden Flashes to 11-2 record, bowl

Hazell

– Kent State’s Darrell Hazell is in line to be Purdue’s next football coach, according to multiple reports.

CBSsports.com first reported that Hazell accepted the coaching position. ESPN.com and Gold&Black.com also reported Hazell will replace Danny Hope. The ESPN.com report said Hazell will meet with Kent State players today.

Hazell led Kent State to an 11-2 record this season, winning the Mid-American Conference’s East Division. The Golden Flashes were No. 17 in the BCS standings before falling to Northern Illinois in overtime in the MAC title game. He was named MAC coach of the year.

Hazell, 48, is 16-9 in two seasons at Kent State. He has coaching experience in the Big Ten. He was the wide receivers coach at Ohio State from 2004 to 2010.

He added assistant head coach to his title with the Buckeyes 2005-10.

Purdue looked for an offensive-minded coach. Kent State is averaging 34.6 points per game.

The Golden Flashes will take on Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6. It is the team’s first bowl game in 40 years.

“Every time a job comes open, my name is mentioned,” Hazell said Monday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “That’s an honor, but I can’t discuss all the rumors that are out there. When something significant happens, ... I’ll tell my family first, my athletic director second, my team third, then I’ll come to the local media, but I’m not going to discuss all the rumors that are out there.”

In addition to his time at Ohio State, Hazell was an assistant at Rutgers, West Virginia, Army, Western Michigan, Penn, Eastern Illinois and Oberlin.

Hazell would replace Hope, who went 22-27 in four years for the Boilermakers. Hope was fired Nov. 25, one day after Purdue topped Indiana for the Old Oaken Bucket.

The Boilermakers (6-6) are preparing for a bowl game for the second consecutive season. Purdue faces Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1 at Cotton Bowl Stadium.

lpope@jg.net

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