New football coaching staff prepares for National Signing Day



Lance Lysowski

The search for the school’s 20th head football coach lasted less than a month, but Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen is confident that Darrell Hazell is the man to lead the Flashes.

Hazell, who most recently was the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach at Ohio State, brings an extensive track record of developing NFL talent and recruiting prowess.

“I took this job for three reasons,” Hazell said. “One, the people I talked to because those people will make this thing happen. Second reason, I know we can win here. Third reason is an opportunity to build a football program the way I want to build it, with integrity, character and getting the right people in our organization.”

Nielsen announced Hazell as Kent State’s coach on Dec. 20, but Hazell’s duties just coming to an end, he is working on filling his coaching staff.

Hazell announced the hiring of former Buckeye and NFL player Marcus Freeman as linebackers coach, Purdue wide receivers coach Brian Rock as offensive coordinator, former Buckeye Thad Jamison as wide receivers coach and former Rutgers recruiting coordinator Dennis Scuderi to the same position.

“All four of these coaches are excellent teachers and great mentors who are high-quality character guys and hard workers,” Hazell said in a press release.

With a coaching staff not entirely in place and National Signing Day looming, Hazell and his current staff have began recruiting duties.

While starting late is a challenge, Hazell is anything but worried.

“(Recruiting late) does not concern me,” Hazell said. “I’m not going to rush out there and automatically sign 25 guys. We’re going to make sure everything fits. I’d rather have the right guys and a few less guys than get the wrong guys.”

Contact Lance Lysowski at [email protected].