There are many that thought that if Darrell Hazell had just stuck around a tiny bit longer, when the tattoos-for-goods bartering scandal broke that he would've been named the team's interim head coach, potentially won 8-to-9 games and could be Ohio State's head football coach at this very moment. Instead, Hazell paid his dues in Kent, going 5-7 in his first season, before breaking through his second completing an 11-1 regular season before coming up just short in the MAC Championship Game to new North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren and the Northern Illinois Huskies.
While Ohio State has a history with Purdue that goes back a decade that includes far more upsets than it should, instead of dealing with a mustachio-clad professor of basketball on grass across the sidelines, the Buckeyes will spy one of their own. After a whirlwind day that saw him go from "one of Purdue's favorites" to "having accepted the job and working out contractual details" to "having told his players he wasn't accepting the Purdue gig" (allegedly), the same coaching carousel craziness Tuesday that saw Bret Bielema depart Wisconsin for Arkansas and Gus Malzahn return to the plains will now see Darrell Hazell become Purdue's next head football coach:
Purdue is hiring Darrell Hazell as its new coach, a source tells CBS.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 5, 2012
The 2012 MAC Coach of the Year won't have near the rebuilding job in front of him as the Boilermakers were 6-6 this past season and are actually headed to the 2013 Heart of Dallas bowl to take on Mike Gundy (who ironically was thought to be headed for Arkansas as early as 12 hours ago; some day) and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It's widely expected that Hazell will bring along with former Buckeye linebacker (and current Kent State linebackers coach) Marcus Freeman. One has to almost wonder out loud whether Hazell will place a call to former colleague and Buckeyes co-defensive coordinator Jim Heacock as well. Heacock's brother Jon (the man who succeeded Jim Tressel at Youngstown State) served as Hazell's defensive coordinator at Kent and could be considered a candidate to make the move as well.