Feb. 8, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - New Purdue football coach Darrell Hazell has been steadfast in his message that getting fans to come back to Ross-Ade Stadium is paramount to taking the Boilermakers to among the elite programs in the Big Ten Conference.
"We'll work hard," Hazell told a group of more than 650 John Purdue Club members and about 100 students in Mackey Arena on Wednesday. "And in turn, we need you to come and be as loud as possible on Saturdays in Ross-Ade Stadium."
A significant portion of the fan base is Purdue students, and student attendance has declined consistently over the past six years, from an average of 13,347 in 2007 to 7,505 last season. It was 16,049 for the 2000 Big Ten championship season.
Hazell will share his message - and his vision for the football program - as he gets out among the students in the coming weeks.
Here is his schedule to date, with several more visits in the works:
Feb. 18: Purdue Student Government (1 p.m.)
Feb. 20: Ross-Ade Brigade and Gimlets (2 p.m.)
Feb. 22: "Big Man on Campus" breast cancer awareness event involving 15 sororities and three co-cops (7 p.m.)
Feb. 26: Phil Gamma Delta fraternity (6 p.m.)
Feb. 28: Kappa Sigma fraternity (6 p.m.)
March 4: Sigma Chi fraternity (6 p.m.)
Meet Hazell on Saturday
As announced earlier this week, Purdue fans attending the Purdue-Michigan State men's basketball game Saturday are invited to meet Hazell beforehand.
Hazell will be in the Mackey Arena West Club beginning at 6 p.m. for approximately 45 minutes. He will meet and greet fans and sign autographs - please, limit one per person. Purdue Athletics will have a photo card available to be signed, while supply lasts, or fans may bring in their own item.
In addition, Hazell will be introduced to the Mackey crowd during the eight-minute media timeout of the first half.
Tipoff is 7 p.m. Saturday.
Hazell will deliver pizzas to members of the Paint Crew camping out in the Sally & Bob Weist Plaza on Saturday at 5:15 p.m.