Darrell Hazell Named Kent State Head Football Coach
KENT, Ohio — Kent State University Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen introduced Darrell Hazell as the Golden Flashes' 20th head football coach at a Monday afternoon news conference.
The first minority head coach in the 90-year history of the program, Hazell replaces Doug Martin, who resigned last month following a seven-year stint at the helm of the Flashes.
"I couldn't be more excited to welcome Darrell to the Kent State family," says Nielsen. "When you're looking for a head football coach, it's not just a matter of if they can coach — it's important to make sure they are a fit for this program, this campus and this community. I have no doubt in my mind that Darrell is that person."
Hazell's base salary will be $300,000 with additional contractual details yet to be worked out.
"I'm proud and excited to be named Kent State's head football coach," says Hazell. "I believe this is a tremendous opportunity and I can't wait to give the Golden Flashes' fans the winning program they deserve. Many of the pieces are in place to be successful and I'm confident that with a lot of hard work, we'll get it done."
Hazell, 46, spent the past seven seasons as a member of the Ohio State University coaching staff and boasts 25 years of experience as a coach on the collegiate level. He served as assistant head coach and also coached the Buckeyes' wide receivers. During his time in Columbus, Hazell developed a number of All-Big Ten players, including six of whom currently play in the NFL.
A native of Cinnaminson, N.J., Hazell joined the Ohio State staff in February, 2004, following a three-year stay at Rutgers. He has also coached at West Virginia, Army, Western Michigan, Penn, Eastern Illinois and Oberlin.
After a standout high school career in New Jersey, Hazell enrolled at Muskingum College in the fall of 1982. He moved into the starting lineup at wide receiver as a sophomore and was a regular his last three years, winning all-conference honors all three of those seasons. As a senior, he also earned All-America honors and was selected by his teammates as team captain.
Hazell graduated from Muskingum in 1986 and began his coaching career the following fall as running backs coach at Oberlin College. He was inducted into the Muskingum Hall of Fame in 1993.
Darrell and Annemarie have a son, Kyle. Hazell will be at Tuesday's men's basketball game against Youngstown State in the MAC Center. He will be greeting fans at approximately 6:30 p.m.
The Darrell Hazell File
Birthdate: April 14, 1964
Hometown: Cinnaminson, N.J.
Family: Annemarie; son, Kyle
Alma Mater: Muskingum College, '86 -- B.A. in Speech Communication & Business
2005-10: Ohio State University -- Assistant Head Coach, Wide Receivers
2004: Ohio State University -- Wide Receivers, Kick Returns
2003: Rutgers University -- Assistant Head Coach
2001-02: Rutgers University -- Wide Receivers
1999-00: West Virginia University -- Running Backs
1997-98: U.S. Military Academy -- Wide Receivers, Tight Ends
1995-96: Western Michigan University -- Wide Receivers
1992-94: University of Pennsylvania -- Running Backs
1989-91: Oberlin College -- Offensive Coordinator
1988: Eastern Illinois University -- Running Backs, Wide Receivers
1986-87: Oberlin College -- Running Backs
What they're saying about Darrell Hazell...
"Darrell Hazell is not only a fine football coach, but a fine representative of the game of college football. He is an excellent technician, a very talented instructor and teacher, and he has great knowledge and insights on the game, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But those qualities take a back seat to the care and leadership he gives to the young men who play for him. His assistance and mentorship to a number of our players in becoming more mature and responsible with their studies, with their families and with the community has helped so many of our young people grow. That will be his real legacy at Ohio State, and it's a gift he will share with the Kent State program."
Jim Tressel, Head Coach
Ohio State University
"I cannot begin to share the excitement I have for Darrell. He is truly a class act, and will do an outstanding job at Kent. He has a significant presence in Buckeye football and will be missed. I wish him and his family the best."
Gene Smith, Athletic Director
Ohio State University
"When I reflect on the Mid-American Conference and the diversity that has found its way into the coaching ranks of the conference, I see this as a reflection of the willingness of the presidents and athletic directors to be open in the hiring process. I believe Kent State has found a great coach in Darrell Hazell. Darrell has done a tremendous job at Ohio State and is well-respected both in the state of Ohio and around the country. He's the right hire at the right time and I see great positives for both Kent State and Darrell."
Floyd A. Keith, Executive Director
Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA)
"Coach Hazell is a great coach. I think he is going to do great things for the Kent State program. In the time I spent with him at Ohio State and getting to know him, he's a great coach and a great person. I think he is going to do a lot of great things for that program and I'm excited to watch it."
Brian Robiskie, Wide Receiver
Cleveland Browns (played for Ohio State from 2005-08)
"No one has had more of an impact on my career as a football player than Coach Hazell. However, in many ways, it is the impact that he has had on me as a person that I value most. It is this combination of football know-how and personal integrity that will make him a great addition to Kent State University."
Anthony Gonzales, Wide Receiver
Indianapolis Colts (played for Ohio State from 2004-07)
"I got to know Darrell 25 years ago when he was at Oberlin. I respected him and got to know him as a friend and even tried to hire him a couple of times at Kent Roosevelt. Kent State has a solid foundation and is really close to turning the corner with their program. Darrell is a tremendous guy, a good recruiter and an honest man who I think will do a great job. A lot of good things are going to happen at Kent State with him on board."
John Nemec, Head Coach
Kent Roosevelt High School
"I'm very excited for Coach Hazell. I can only imagine what he's going to do for Kent State. He's more than just a coach. He goes over and beyond that for his kids. What impressed me at first was how much he knew about how to be at your best. He's a no nonsense guy that believes in getting the job done and he brings a strong positive mental approach. He's the type of guy you want to put your kids around."
Ted Ginn Sr., Head Coach
Glenville High School
"Darrell is a high-character guy and a great recruiter. He does everything by the rules and will have a high-character staff around him. That's a big hire for Kent State. Darrell's done a really good job developing student-athletes on and off the field. And those are the type of expectations you look for in a coach. He'll also bring in a lot of great recruits from Ohio."
Jason Hall, Head Coach
Massillon High School
"I was fortunate enough to coach Darrell. He was a tremendous athlete and an even better person. Darrell was a goal-setter that knew what it took to excel and he had an excellent work ethic. So it's really no surprise he's come to this point in his career. He was an All-American on some the best teams this program's ever had. And as a person, he had a lasting effect on so many of us at Muskingum."
Jeff Heacock, Head Coach
Muskingum College (1981-06)