Hazell served as the head coach for the Kent St. Golden Flashes for the past two seasons, and led the team to an 11-2 record this season, the highest number of wins in program history. Kent State will play the Arkansas State Red Wolves in the GoDaddy.com bowl Jan 6. No word has been released on whether Hazell will coach the Golden Flashes in their bowl game, as the game is the team's first bowl appearance in 40 years.
Purdue originally contacted Cincinnati Bearcats coach Butch Jones, who turned down the position. Our own Purdue Blog Hammer and Rails predicted that Hazell would be the next target for the University, and even suggested that Hazell could be a better fit than Jones. Contributor BoilerTMill discussed the potential hiring of Hazell, writing:
After reading about him I honestly like Hazell a little better than Jones. He has actually built something from nothing. Jones is on stop two of the "riding Brian Kelly's coattails" tour. He has to get credit for what he's done at Kent State, which was far worse off than Purdue.