After spending a week and a half talking to potential candidates about Kent State's football coaching vacancy, KSU athletic director Joel Nielsen is ready to begin bringing candidates on campus for official interviews.
That process could begin as early as Monday.
In a blog entry Saturday, Nielsen wrote:
"I've been out personally talking with those individuals and have had some great conversations. It is kind of interesting that some of the candidates are the same ones we contacted two years ago. They have done great things in the past two years and remain on the list as very viable candidates while other new names have bubbled up. Some of those new candidates have come to us, and then we have reached out to others."
Although Nielsen told the Beacon Journal Thursday that he had no specific time table set to name Darrell Hazell's replacement, he sounded Saturday as if he were close.
"We expect in the upcoming week we'll start what I would call the second-round interviews and move expeditiously to get this next head coach in position. Time is of the essence, but we are going to take our time and get the right guy. Two years ago, we probably met with between eight and 10 candidates. This time around it has been six or eight. I don't know how many exactly will get to that second round."
One candidate likely to be the first to be brought on campus is former KSU walk-on and later assistant coach Paul Haynes. Haynes is currently the defensive coordinator/secondary coach at Arkansas. Prior to that, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio State.