Hazell leaves Kent State for Purdue

Purdue University has named Darrell Hazell its new football coach.

Hazell spent the past two seasons at Kent State, leading the Golden Flashes to a record of 16-9. This year's team was 11-2 and lost to Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference championship.

"I'm extremely excited to work with the players at Purdue, and I look forward to experiencing a lot of success in the future," said Hazell in a statement Wednesday. "It's a wonderful opportunity. Purdue University has a great football tradition, and I can't wait to get started."

Purdue needed a replacement for Danny Hope, who was fired in late November despite a three-game winning streak to conclude the season that gave the Boilermakers a 6-6 record and a berth in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Oklahoma State.

Hope was 22-27 in four years with the Boilermakers and just 13-19 in the Big Ten.

Hazell has experience in the Big Ten, serving as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Ohio State from 2004-10. He's also worked as an assistant at Rutgers, West Virginia, Army, Western Michigan, Penn, Oberlin and Eastern Illinois since 1986.

"Darrell is a great fit to build on our existing foundation," said Purdue athletic director Morgan J. Burke on Wednesday. "His leadership at Kent State, combined with his prior experience at Ohio State and other stops along the way, has prepared him to help us continue to move toward developing a championship-caliber program."

Hazell was selected as the top coach in the MAC this season. Kent State will play in the Bowl against Arkansas State in January.