Monday was a busy day for head coach announcements with the likes of San Jose State and Western Michigan naming new coaches. That continued on Tuesday with Kent State officially naming Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes as the program’s next coach. Haynes replaces Darrell Hazell, who left to take the Purdue job.
“I am very excited to welcome Paul back to the Kent State family,” said athletic director Joel Nielsen. “During our search for a new head coach, I was looking for someone who had the qualities that could carry on the recent success of the football program. Those qualities include leadership, a genuine interest in our student-athletes, integrity and an understanding of Kent State and the Mid-American Conference. Ohio recruiting ties were also very important. Paul hits on every one of those areas. In hiring Paul we are also making a significant investment in the head coaching position here at Kent State.”
Haynes is a graduate of Kent State and a former assistant.
“This has been a whirlwind, and I can’t begin to describe my excitement about the opportunity to come back to Kent State as head coach,” said Haynes. “Being a former player and assistant coach here, and now coming back at a time where there is so much pride around the football program and the university, it is unbelievable. My family and I are excitedabout coming back to Ohio. I’m looking forward to getting involved with theplayers and embracing the Kent State alumni.”
Haynes was also an assistant for seven seasons at Ohio State as the Buckeyes’ defensive backs coach from 2005-10 and co-defensive coordinator in 2011. He also served as a defensive backs assistant at Louisville and Michigan State.
Kent State’s hire leaves FIU and Wisconsin as the only major college football programs still looking for a head coach.