Nine days after Danny Hope was shown the door by Morgan Burke, Purdue fans and college sports fans in general learned who would become Purdue's next head football coach. We talked about Kent State's coach, Darrell Hazell Monday evening and yesterday afternoon as a possibility...tonight we'll talk about him with assurance: Darrell Hazell will be Purdue's next head football coach. But the last 24 hours have been pretty hazy. We didn't enjoy them, but let's relive them anyway.
The combination of misinformation, flat-out poor information, conjecture and facts created a murky fog that settled in as the story broke at the end of the work day. If you were fortunate enough not to be near your computer or phone during that period of time, here's a general timeline:
Brendan Murphy broke it first at 5:00pm on the nose via Twitter:
And the information got wings via Twitter, Facebook and some websites*, unsurprisingly...but other sources began pulling back the expectations a bit as new info trickled in. At 5:30, FoxSports Radio 1350 am of Akron, OH was told by Hazell that he had not accepted a job.
In the six o'clock hour GBI warned Purdue fans to not completely believe everything that was on Twitter- fair point. But this was after they had tweeted that Hazell was coming to Purdue...then, at 7:20, they published a retraction on their site that spread quickly and people began filling in the blanks in the wake of Bielema's move away from Wisconsin and to Arkansas.
I not only believed Murphy's initial report, but I also believed GBI's a bit over two hours later. I've grown to trust both sources as they typically do not miss the mark...and I've never known either to publish unfounded stories. My guess was that after Murphy had heard that the contract was all but wrapped-up, something had changed.
The anger quickly grew within the ranks of Purdue fans- Many thought, not only had Burke missed out on Jones on Sunday, but now it seemed, he had lost his second choice two days later. So for a little over one hour Purdue fans stewed and thought aloud about what was next.
But at 8:31, things changed again...as it became official. CBS' Bruce Feldman tweeted that Hazell's deal was done and he'd lead the Boilermakers:
That was quickly followed by BTN's Tom Dienart's blogpost talking about Hazell as Purdue's head coach...EsPN followed suit as did everyone else. And the 3.5 hour roller coaster was over. And to his credit, at the end of the process, we think Morgan Burke has made a very solid hire in Darrell Hazell.
Hopefully in the coming days, we'll find out the full story of why there was a pendulum swing in the information, but I doubt it. Hell, it could be as simple as the telephone game causing a misunderstanding, or as complicated as a third party (wife, agent, players, etc.) getting in Hazell's ear; as I said, we'll probably never know.
As I type, there's still no word on when Wednesday's press conference will occur, but there will be one tomorrow announcing Hazell's new post at our alma mater. Players who played for him at aOSU and Kent State alike have been singing his praises via Twitter...and current Purdue players seem legitimately-excited about officially having a coach once again.
Hazell is Purdue's first black coach in basketball or football, and only the fourth black Big Ten football coach. He has no direct connections with Purdue, but his OC at Kent State, Brian Rock, is a name you might recognize. He was WR coach at Purdue a few seasons ago. There are no details available at this time on if Hazell will bring some, none or all of his staff from KSU...but those who come will get raises.
He made $400,000 as his base salary at KSU, but had a few incentives reached this season that bumped him up. His buyout was $900,000. A couple news outlets said he was offered a $1.5million base salary...we haven't had this confirmed yet, but J published that number as his educated guess yesterday as well...because he's smart. We'll have everything confirmed in the next 12-18 hours, most-assuredly.
We're excited to hear Darrell Hazell named as Purdue's next football coach...but can't say we felt the same about Hope five years ago. We liked the guy from the beginning, and thought he deserved a chance to do well and have the full support of the Purdue fans. But, we didn't think he was even close to the best option for the program at that point. We were hopeful that he'd grow into the position. Conversely, Hazell's resume, specifically his seven seasons as an assistant coach at aOSU, make us confident that he understands how to win...and his 11 win season at a perennial loser, in just his second season at KSU, makes us believe that he's simply a winner.
|Hazell set to make a splash at Purdue
There are tons of opinions out there about if he's the right hire or not. Honestly no one knows right now. No one knows if a guy fits at a university until he's there. While a resume is important, the moving parts around him are as well. If you're not a fan of this hire, but you thought it was time for Hope to go, you're probably thankful that a new era is upon us. If you didn't want Hope gone, and don't like Hazell, the only thing that is going to get you on board, is time and winning a few games. If you're like us and thought it was time for a change and you like the hire, tonight, you should be grinning and sighing a bit.
Colorado has still not yet heard
a final answer from Butch Jones. And yesterday in a press conference, Jones acted like all was well at Cincy simply because he was at the press conference...but refused to address the elephant in the room. The longer this drags on, the more I believe Jones is a bit of a prima donna or is awaiting a bigger, better deal. That type of outlook and mentality will never work in West Lafayette. We really
liked the idea and resume of Jones more than we've liked what he's shown the last few days. Plus, we're just glad this chapter is put to bed.
Time for a New Tradition
Arnette Tiller coined the term "Boiler Up!" at a pep rally as her husband's Boilers were getting ready to play Oklahoma State in 1997. The phrase caught on with many Boiler fans, but at BS, we were never big proponents of it because it was derivative of "Cowboy Up!", which was yelled at Wyoming- Tiller's job before Purdue. So, we'd like to propose a change...but we're open for suggestions...as these Boilers are just weeks from playing Oklahoma State in a bowl game of their own.
"Boiler Up, Hammer Down" was a salve...but "Hammer Down!" seems to work well by itself...and "Hail Purdue" is still a favorite. Of course, if you wanna move away from these in favor of a phrase we use around here all of the time, you can try that too...but let's all work together to make "Boiler Up!" a thing of the past.
The train is coming...
Choo choo, muthas!
Welcome to God's Country, Coach Hazell!!
*A cautionary note to aspiring writers- you're not scooping a story if you're merely publishing someone else's scoop on your outlet. EsPN might tell us differently, but there is only one scoop...and just like with a good joke, timing is of the essence. No need to force the issue.