Well, we now officially know one place Butch Jones won’t coach in 2013.
Following up on speculation that began to grow over the past couple of days, Purdue announced Wednesday morning that Darrell Hazell has been hired as the Boilermakers new head coach. Jones had interviewed for the job on Sunday, but a strong push by Colorado — and perhaps Wisconsin too — as well as Cincinnati making every financial effort to retain their coach pushed Purdue into the direction of the MAC and an individual that has completely turned around a moribund Kent State program.
A press conference will be held at 7 p.m. ET today to introduce Hazell, who will replace the dismissed Danny Hope.
“I’m extremely excited to work with the players at Purdue, and I look forward to experiencing a lot of success in the future,” Hazell said in a statement. “It’s a wonderful opportunity. Purdue University has a great football tradition, and I can’t wait to get started.”
In Hazell’s two seasons at Kent State, the Golden Flashes went 16-9. In the four season’s prior to his arrival, Kent won just 19 games.
This season, The Golden Flashes won a school-record 11 games and claimed a division title for the first time ever.
Prior to landing his first head-coaching job in December of 2010, he had been an assistant on Jim Tressel‘s Ohio State staff for seven seasons.
“Darrell is a great fit to build on our existing foundation,” Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said. “His leadership at Kent State, combined with his prior experience at Ohio State and other stops along the way, has prepared him to help us continue to move toward developing a championship-caliber program. He understands our ‘25/85’ vision as well as our desire to recruit both locally and nationally. Furthermore, it is clear that he appreciates the Cradle of Quarterbacks tradition, and it will remain a focal point of our program.”
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah