I’ve been told an agreement in principle has been reached between Purdue and Darrell Hazell, just contract language being worked out now.
— Brendan Murphy (@BMurphySports)
Arguably the best coach in the history of the Purdue football program, Joe Tiller, rode quarterback Drew Brees’ coattails all the way to a Rose Bowl berth.
His hand-picked replacement, Danny Hope, rode Robert Marve straight over to the unemployment line. In four seasons at the helm, Hope compiled a 22-27 record overall, but the real issue came with some real expectations in 2012.
Most fans expected a rebuilding process following Tiller’s departure, but after the Boilermakers opened the Big Ten season with a not-so-stellar 0-5 record, those same fans must sit back and watch the same process repeat itself following Hope’s firing.
Darrell Hazell, who enjoyed a Renaissance — pure and simple — at Kent State, is now in charge, and once again the Boilermakers are hoping (no pun intended) for the best.
If Hazell’s time with the Golden Flashes is any indication, the best is what those in West Lafayette can expect.
Kent State enjoyed its best season in more than 90 years, going 11-1 and 8-0 in the MAC before losing the Mid-American Conference Championship game to Orange Bowl-bound Northern Illinois.
The details of the contract have yet to be released, but at the very least the hiring of Hazell keeps one of the nation’s hottest small-time coaches out of the hands of three-time Rose Bowl participants, Wisconsin.
The Badgers’ head coach of seven season, Bret Bielema, accepted the vacant position at Arkansas earlier on Tuesday.
Purdue is starting over once again, but the man in charge has proven that he has what it takes to turn around a rudderless program.
Hazell, of course, has accepted this new challenge.
Now it remains to be seen whether he can do so at a big-time program with all the resources in the world.
Latest from around Gamedayr >> Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema accepts the open coaching position at Arkansas