Mobile bowl will pit interim versus outgoing coach
The news conference promoting the GoDaddy.com Bowl was a
Darrell Hazell, who will be leaving No. 25 Kent State after the
Jan. 5 game to take over at Purdue, wasn’t available Thursday.
Neither was Gus Malzahn, who has already left Arkansas State to
lead Auburn’s program.
Defensive coordinator John Thompson will be interim coach for
the Red Wolves, but wasn’t here either.
Hazell couldn’t bear to miss Kent State’s first bowl in 40
years, and is busy pulling double duty.
”It’s a great thing for our team because he has such great
respect with our team and our community and our university,”
Golden Flashes athletic director Joel Nielson said. ”There was an
outpouring (Wednesday) from our team and our community that if we
had the chance to have coach Hazell in our bowl, they wanted me to
make the right decision.
”I give Purdue a lot of credit allowing him to have dual roles
here for about a month and allow us to have that for our
student-athletes. That was really important to our team. I talked
to the team and the captains and it was real important to have this
This is the fifth straight year that at least one of the head
coaches has not coached in the Mobile bowl game because they have
taken another job. It’s the first time other schools have hired
The Boilermakers will be led by receivers coach Patrick Higgins
against Oklahoma State on Jan. 1 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.