Darrell Hazell

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Purdue fires Darrell Hazell

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Add one more coaching vacancy to the 2016 list. Purdue has made the decision to move on from Darrell Hazell as their head coach. Wide receivers coach Gerad Parker will take over as the interim head coach for the remainder of the regular season.

“College athletics can’t have a better man than Darrell Hazell, and I would like to see more individuals with his virtues in Division I athletics,” Purdue president Mike Daniels said in a released statement. “But while character is mandatory every day at Purdue, positive performance also must be there. With new leadership and the rapidly evolving Football Performance Complex, I’m confident that better days are ahead. The Board and I fully understand and support the need for a successful football program and recognize the positive impact it brings to the intercollegiate athletics department, the campus community and Boilermaker alumni and fans everywhere.”

Hazell was in the midst of his fourth season as Purdue head coach. Despite a 3-3 record through six games this season, it was expected Hazell could be in his final year as the Boilermakers head coach after going just 6-30 in his previous three seasons on the job. Purdue hired Hazell away from Kent State after he was the head coach for just two seasons in the MAC. After turning a 5-7 team into a 11-3 program, Purdue took notice and swayed Hazell to West Lafayette.

Austin Appleby wins starting QB job at Purdue as ball control improves

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Purdue will be hoping experience is the key for its new starting quarterback. Austin Appleby was named the starting quarterback for the Boilermakers by head coach Darrell Hazell. Appleby started seven games for Purdue last season, and he took the lumps that came with them. Purdue was 1-6 in games started by Appleby, but there was plenty of blame to go around with Purdue’s struggles last season. Appleby beat out redshirt freshman David Blough for the job.

Appleby was Purdue’s leading passer last fall after replacing Danny Etling. Appleby passed for 1,449 yards and 10 touchdowns but was intercepted 11 times and completed just 52.9 percent of his pass attempts in 10 games. He was more reliable inside the red zone, completing 16 of 26 pass attempts and tossing five touchdowns with zero interceptions. If nothing else, that should give Hazell something to build on with his new starting QB. Protecting the football has been a key in camp for Purdue.

“He did a good job, in my opinion, of taking care of the ball throughout fall camp,” Hazell said after announcing his decision. “That’s what we asked him to do. He made enough of those makeable plays that we asked him to do. That’s why we’re going with Austin.”

Purdue will open the season on the road against defending Conference USA champion Marshall.

Drew Brees donates $1 million back to Purdue football

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dIt has been a while since Purdue had a player of the caliber of Drew Brees, a Super Bowl MVP on top of a long list of NFL accolades to his name. Brees has had quite the NFL career, but it started for him at Purdue, where he helped take Purdue to a Rose Bowl appearance (seriously, Purdue played in the Rose Bowl), and he continues to give back to support the program that helped prepare him for the NFL.

Purdue released a statement today to announce the acceptance of a $1 million from Brees and his wife, Brittany. The donation helps to fund the school’s Purdue Football Master Plan. The master plan is the product of current athletics director Morgan Burke and head coach Darrell Hazell to improve the state of the football program through raising funds to improve facilities and resources for the program. Purdue has won four games over the past two seasons and Hazell is entering his third year on the job. With the support of Boilermaker alums and stars like Brees, Purdue can continue to focus on taking the next step in what could be a lengthy rebuilding project.

“We care so much about Purdue University,” Brees said in a released statement. “Purdue has meant so much to me, and it has provided so many things. From the education I received and playing for coach Joe Tiller, to winning a Big Ten championship and going to the Rose Bowl, to the relationships I was able to form with many of my teammates and meeting my beautiful wife … we are so blessed and so thankful.”

Brees and his wife made a $2 million donation to Purdue back in 2007, which was intended to help improve academic resources in the athletics program.

Purdue grants QB Etling release from scholarship

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Quarterback Danny Etling won the starting job at Purdue last August, but he will be looking elsewhere to play college football this fall. Etling has asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship from the Boilermakers. The school announced the release Thursday afternoon with a brief statement from head coach Darrell Hazell.“We appreciate all the hard work and dedication that Danny has put into the Purdue program,” Hazell said. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future both on and off the football field.”

“We appreciate all the hard work and dedication that Danny has put into the Purdue program,” Hazell said. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future both on and off the football field.”

Etling, a former four-star quarterback recruit in the Class of 2013 according to Rivals, played in 13 games for the Boilermakers over the course of the past two years. He passed for 2,490 yards and 16 touchdowns. But the once-promising quarterback recruit ended the 2014 season on a sour note. He ended the year running Purdue’s second-team offense in practice, having lost the starting job to Austin Appleby in early October. Appleby will more than likely be Purdue’s starting quarterback this fall, with Etling now searching for a new football home.

Should he transfer to another FBS school, of course, he will have to sit out the 2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

Purdue loses linebacker Robinson to torn ACL

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Purdue senior linebacker Sean Robinson has played his final game of the 2014 season. Boilermakers head coach Darrell Hazell announced Monday Robinson tore his ACL in his right knee in a game earlier this season.

Robinson’s ACL was torn back on October 4 against Illinois. He recorded five tackles in the game before having to leave for medical treatment. He did not play in either of Purdue’s two most recent games, against Michigan State or Minnesota. Hazell said Robinson will undergo surgery later this month, on October 28.

Robinson was Purdue’s fourth-leading tackler this season with 42 tackles, including 27 solo tackles.