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Ohio State assistant Hazell hired as head coach at Kent State

Ohio State assistant head coach Darrell Hazell made history on Monday while being named as the school’s new head football coach. He has become the first black head football coach in the school’s 90-year history as a program.

Hazell becomes Kent State’s 20th football coach. He replaces Doug Martin, who resigned last month with one game remaining in a 5-7 season. Martin had a seven year record of 29-53.

Hazell’s job is to beat the Golden Flashes arch-rival Akron and turn the program into a consistent winner in the Mid-American Conference.

Darrell Hazell (courtesy of Ohio State athletics)

(courtesy of Kent State athletics via Wikipedia Commons)

Hazell was one of four candidates interviewed on campus. The others included: Kent State defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis and wide receivers coaches Curt Cignetti of Alabama and Bobby Kennedy of Texas, respectively.

Hazell’s final game with the Ohio State Buckeyes will be the Sugar Bowl contest against Arkansas on January 4. He will however, spend some time at Kent State talking to his players, evaluating what assistants will be kept, who to hire as assistants and of course recruit. He’ll rejoin the Buckeyes after Christmas.

Hazell, who is 46, has 25 years of college coaching experience, with the past seven being at Ohio State. As the Ohio State wide receivers coach, he was beneficial in the development of Ted Ginn, Jr. Brian Robiske, Brian Hartline, Anthony Gonzalez and Santonio Holmes.

Hazell was a top-notch football player in his own right, just not on the Division I level. He was an All-America wide receiver receiver as a senior at Division III Muskingum University in Ohio in 1986 and became running backs coach at Oberlin College in 1987. He also been an assistant at Eastern Illinois, Pennsylvania, Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia and spent three years at Rutgers and then joined Tressel’s staff in 2004.

compiled from staff, Ohio State & Kent State athletics

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