Kent State has reportedly hired Paul Haynes to replace Darrell Hazell as the team's head coach after Hazell took Purdue's head coaching job in early November.
The Plain Dealer reporter Elton Alexander had the news:
There will be a homecoming Tuesday as Kent State sources confirmed Monday that Paul Haynes will be introduced at 2:30 p.m. in the Student Center as the next head football coach for the Golden Flashes.
Haynes was Arkansas' defensive coordinator last season, but he was an assistant head coach with the Golden Flashes in 1999. That familiarity, plus the fact that he attended and played for Kent State's team, makes him a suitable choice for the job.
But Haynes' Arkansas defense didn't have much success this season. The Razorbacks allowed over 30 points per game in what was a season to forget in the SEC.
Kent State knows that this is an important hire. The Golden Flashes want to continue the momentum that they created with an 11-2 campaign this year, and Haynes' connection to the school makes you believe that he will bring energy and commitment to his new job.
Hazell had great things to say about him in Alexander's report:
Paul is a good guy. I really like him. I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but he can relate well with the kids, if he does get hired. He'll bring some of the same things that we do now with him. Obviously, he's an alum. He's a really good guy.
So if you're a Kent State fan and enjoyed Hazell, that should give you a vote of confidence.
Haynes has also coached on staff at Ohio State (where he worked with Hazell) and Michigan State, so he's used to playing different kinds of teams. The things that he learned in each rugged conference should translate well against the potent offenses that he will find in the MAC.
Kent State allowed just over 25 points per game this season, so there is definitely room to improve. Haynes could bring added focus to the defensive side of the ball, making this team dangerous again in 2013.
It's important to look at all possible sides when hiring a new coach, and Haynes was a logical choice. Because he's an alumni, he will be invested in his new job, and he will be eager to keep this team near the top of the MAC next season.