Former Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell began Wednesday morning with a 6:15 a.m. staff meeting in which he confirmed his departure for Purdue.
By 6:30 a.m. Hazell began a meeting with the Godlen Flashes players that last all of five minutes.
“Literally I was in the room for five minutes,” he said. “I made a statement, I asked if they had any questions and there were no questions. I told them I loved them and I walked out.”
At 10 a.m. Hazell held an emotional 16-minute presser with the local media where he personally thanked a room packed full of athletic department people and other university employees for his first head coaching job.
By the time the football players were beginning their first bowl game practice in the Fieldhouse, Hazell was preparing to board Purdue's private jet, headed to Indiana to meet his new team before a 7 p.m. introductionary presser at his new university.
In between, Hazell, athletic director Joel Nielsen and the teams three captains - senior Brian Winters, Luke Batton and junior Roosevelt Nix agreed to allow Hazell and his KSU coahing staff to coach the next month through the Flashes Jan. 6 bowl game in Mobile, Indiana.
“We still have a month left with (Hazell) and our other coaches, so we’re going to try not to think about the negatives and just build more good times, more memories,” said Nix, a defensive lineman.
During his Purdue press conference, carried live on the Big Ten Network, Hazell takled about the same goal he had when he came to Kent State two years ago after seven seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio State.
“When I took the Kent State job, people thought I was crazy,” Hazell said in his introductory presser at Purdue, aired live on the Big Ten Network. “But I bit my lip and went to work. That’s what we’re gonna do here. We’re gonna win championships here.”
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