Posted by Jerry Hinnen
As the old saying goes: if you can't beat 'em, hire 'em away.
So with the rest of Ohio now 0-for-the-last-89-years against the neighborhood bully in Columbus, it's no surprise that Kent State (out of Kent, Ohio, natch) has looked to the staff of Ohio State for their next head coach, Buckeye receivers coach and assistant head coach Darrell Hazell. Hazell is due to be announced as the new coach of the Golden Flashes at a press conference set for 3 p.m. EST later today, having won the job over co-finalists Curt Cignetti, the Alabama wide receivers coach, and Bobby Kennedy, the Texas receivers coach. (One way or another, safe to say the Golden Flashes were going to get some high-quality receiving coaching next year.)
With Hazell installed at Kent, Pete Lembo at Ball State, and Dave Doeren at Northern Illinois, only Temple and Miami (OH) are still looking for coaches following what might be called the Great MAC Coaching Upheaval of 2010.
Hazell comes to Kent having been with Jim Tressel's Buckeyes since 2004 and with experience as the assistant head coach at both Ohio State and his previous stop at Rutgers. But the likely decisive factor in his hire is his knowledge of the rich Ohio recruiting scene, honed not only from his years under Tressel but his three-year stint as the Oberlin College offensive coordinator from 1989-1991.
And what team just-so-happens to be that last Ohio team to beat Ohio State? Oberlin, by a 7-6 score back in 1921 . If Hazell can reproduce anything remotely like that kind of magic, he won't be at Kent for long.