Dec. 5, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke assemebled a team of well-respected and knowledgable football minds when he searched for the school's 35th head football coach. Here is what each of them had to say about Wednesday's hiring of Darrell Hazell:
Bill Polian, longtime NFL executive (Buffalo Bills 1986-93, Carolina Panthers 1994-97, Indianapolis Colts 1998-2011)
"Darrell Hazell did a great job at Kent State, where he turned the program around overnight. He is well-respected by the entire football community, and he has deep roots in the Midwest. His first-hand knowledge and experience with what it takes to excel in the Big Ten will serve him well him in his new post, and I know he is eager to accept the challenge of bringing Purdue back to the top. Darrell is the right man at the right time for Purdue."
Ryan Grigson, General Manager, Indianapolis Colts
"I am both excited and relieved to have the caliber of head coach coming to West Lafayette that we do in Darrell Hazell. It is a great fit on multiple levels. What he has done at Kent State is truly remarkable. Taking a program in two years that had not been in a bowl game since 1972 and in his second season leading them to 11 wins, a national ranking and a bowl bid speaks for itself. During the vetting process, the words that kept coming out of people's mouths about Coach Hazell were intensity, intelligence and character. I am confident Purdue football is clearly in the right hands."
Rick Smith, Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager, Houston Texans
"First of all, I would like to compliment and congratulate Morgan Burke on conducting a thorough and exhaustive search that led us to an outstanding hire and the right man to guide our football program. Coach Hazell is a disciplined, focused, hard-working coach with championship pedigree that understands what it takes to win in the Big Ten Conference. I am excited to welcome him to the Boilermaker family. He knows we have a history to be proud of and, given his passion and leadership, I am confident we have a future to believe in."