We've made no secret of the fact that we're big fans of the Darrell Hazell hire (bdowd is a little concerned that if I ever wind up in Coach Hazell's company that I might hug him too tightly). Recently, we've had some info up on the site pointing to all the things that we think he and his staff are doing well. That continued this week during the media conference call. You can find Darrell Hazell's and Ricardo Allen's comments at this link.
One thing I notice right away in these sessions is how thoughtful and well-prepared he sounds in each answer. He also manages to not ramble on forever as a certain former coach used to.
"I wanted our community to feel like they were involved in our football team." -- Coach Hazell
"Last year, you used to go over there and sort of half-pedal... now everybody wants to work hard to get out of The Pit [their name for where the slightly injured players work out] and back on the field." -- Ricardo Allen
In addition, Coach Hazell was featured in a BTN segment with noted Danny Hope fan Gerry DiNardo (it should tell you something about Gerry's coaching acumen that he liked Hope). I did especially like DiNardo talking about coming to Purdue being different than Kent St because "Purdue has had some success" in recent years. Yes, true, Gerry -- if your definition of success is going .500 sometimes, winning two bowl games (barely, over a lesser-conference foes) over the past ten seasons and getting destroyed by Oklahoma State in last season's bowl appearance.
When you hear Coach Hazell talk about winning football games, well, that should perk you up a bit. He sounds determined and he sounds confident that he can make it happen -- rather than hopeful that he can maybe make them "competitive."
"Purdue lost a lot of close football games the past couple of years. We're going to talk about how you win those close football games."
Amen to that.