We've had people as us what we think of the coaching staff hirings thus far...so here's our quick take.
J posted about the initial hires a few weeks ago prior to KSU's bowl game, but I'll continue based on what we've heard.
Hazell has now hired six coaches...all with ties to the state of Ohio. That makes sense for a lot of reasons, as much of Hazell's resume references the buckeye state.
This hiring process is a ton different from that of Danny Hope- Hope had some carry overs from Tiller's staff, had a year to build his staff, didn't have much of a budget and didn't seem to have his sights set very high during the hiring process. But, as Hazell is showing, coaches generally go with what they know. Hope knew D-IAA, and had some coaches from the lower division...Hazell knows and is connected to the state of Ohio...so...
We love the hire of FSU's former LB coach, Greg Hudson as the DC. Hudson is a name that's well known in college football and the units and teams that he's coached have been generally good...he'll focus greatly on speed, it would seem, based on his past experience.
The OC hire is not yet public...but Hazell's staff already has two former coordinators within it.
Jim Bollman (today's quiet hire) was OC at Youngstown State, and years later at aOSU. He was also OL coach there for a few seasons...and he'll be the same at Purdue. An Ohio State fan friend of mine told me that Bucknut fans don't like Bollman much. As a fan of an opposing team, I can tell you that I never thought of aOSU offensive lines as soft or easily pushed around...in fact, I thought they were pretty big, damned strong and kinda nasty, as a rule. That's good...those guys need to protect the franchise, so to speak. The last time Purdue had a rock solid offensive line, top-to-bottom, was in the early oughts. It'll be good to have one again in the next few seasons.
The other former coordinator on Hazell's staff is his old DC from Kent State, Jon Heacock. There was talk before Hudson was hired, that Jon's brother Jim, another former Buckeye might be hired as DC. That obviously didn't happen.
So Hazell has a mix of younger up-and-comers (Freeman LB & Williams RB), and established guys (Hudson DC, Heacock DL, Bollman OL, Sherman WR), on his staff so far...all have D-IA experience, some have NFL experience. It's a pretty good looking staff on paper...and Hazell's not even done yet.
For those of you who have had a hard time keeping up with the cryptic updates out of God's country, don't feel bad...it's been tough to keep up. None of Hope's coaches were retained...but a few of the office and off-field personnel will stick around, it seems.
We're hoping that Hazell's staff is out hitting the road very soon. The quiet period has been over for a bit and signing day is fast approaching. Purdue lost a verbal last week, but supposedly picked up a good one today (according to rumors). We don't talk about recruiting, especially recruiting rumors around here generally as we think it's kinda silly to chase the wind that way...Once guys are signed, we tell you...even solid verbals aren't so solid, as we all are reminded about every other year.
There will be more news in the coming days/weeks about the football program...even if it's not shouted from the mountain tops, we'll try to weigh in on it.