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Hazell: The importance of people is the one thing I'll take with me
As we told you last night, Darrell Hazell has accepted the head coaching position at Purdue. Today he held his exit press conference at Kent State and talked about the timeline with Purdue, and what he's learned from his experience at Kent State.
Hazell says that he met at 6:15am ET this morning with his coaching staff, which was followed by a 6:30am ET meeting with his team where he officially delivered the news. Knowing that he would get emotional, he kept things short and sweet, told him that he loved them, and then walked out of the room.
As far as the timeline goes, he explained that Purdue reached out to him late last week, but Hazell responded by telling them that he didn't want to have any discussions before the MAC title game. That initial conversation was followed up with conversations on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
According to Hazell, the job was offered at about 4:30pm ET yesterday, and he made his decision about around 9pm ET.
Later today, Hazell plans to fly out for a press conference and for his introductory press conference at Purdue. He added that Purdue has given him permission to coach Kent State in the bowl game, but that decision lays in the hands of Kent State administrators at this point, and should be decided on by the end of the day.
As Hazell leaves Kent State, he gave credit numerous times throughout the presser to the people who helped him and his staff reach the success that they have. He explains that is one lesson that he will leave Kent State with.
"That's the most important thing when you're putting together a football team. It's making sure that you surround yourself with the right people that are going to take care of the kids and make that the kids are getting everything that they need in the classroom, on the field, and socially."
"To me, it's all about the people. That's where success is built. It's not about anything but the people and I think that the bonds that we made coming in here, when people said 'You can't win here', and we put our hearts to it. I think you get a lot of people working in the same direction, a lot of good things happen."
"I think that's the biggest thing that I'll take from here."
That's solid advice for coaches everywhere.