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December 5, 2012

Hazell's staff will be critical

One of the first objectives for new Purdue coach Darrell Hazell will be to assemble a coaching staff, with a vast network of past colleagues from his Ohio State days and other stops to potentially draw from.

"What I'm most curious about with him, what I think is going to make or break him, is going to he his staff," Big Ten Network analyst Tom Dienhart said. "I personally think he has to make some splashy coordinator hires. ... He's got to get big-time coordinators. He can't bring in nobodies. You have to bring in somebody with a rep on that staff, particularly the coordinators. I'll be fascinated with who he chooses."

Former Purdue coach Joe Tiller always credited his staff for much of his success with the Boilermakers.

"At Purdue, you have to maximize things," Tiller said, "and a good staff helps you do that."

First, Hazell is expected to consider those remaining from Danny Hope's staff. When Hazell took the Kent State job, he interviewed many of the prior staff's coaches.

Here's a look at some coaches with ties to Hazell that might merit consideration for posts at Purdue.

Defense
Taver Johnson: Arkansas' assistant head coach and linebackers coach this past season, Johnson coached with Hazell at Ohio State, where he was on staff as cornerbacks coach from 2007-2012. Johnson coached prior to Ohio State in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders (2007) and Cleveland Browns (2004). In between, he served as defensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio) from 2005-06.

Paul Haynes: Arkansas' outgoing defensive coordinator and secondary coach was a member of Ohio State's staff from 2005-2011, much of that time he spent coaching alongside Hazell prior to him leaving for Kent State. Haynes has also coached at Michigan State (2003-04), Louisville (2002) and with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars (2001).

Marcus Freeman: Kent State's linebackers coach, the 2007 Ohio State graduate was one of Hazell's first hires for his KSU staff after Freeman served as a G.A. for the Buckeyes.

Jon Heacock: Youngstown State's head coach from 2001-09, Heacock's been Hazell's defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach with the Golden Flashes.

Jim Heacock: Ohio State's former defensive coordinator, Heacock coached with the Buckeyes from 1996-2012. Heacock, 64, announced his retirement, but without expressing interest in coaching again given the right opportunity.

Richard McNutt: The former Ohio State cornerback didn't play for the Buckeyes while Hazell was on staff, but he should be well tied-in to the program's network of coaches. The Park Forest, Ill., native is Northern Illinois' corners coach. It's unknown whether he'll join Coach Dave Doeren at North Carolina State.

Jeff Burrow: Kent State's safeties coach has Indiana ties, having coached at Indiana State and served as a graduate assistant coach at Notre Dame.

Offense
Brian Rock: The former Purdue assistant coach - Rock coached Boilermaker receivers from 2005-10 - has been Hazell's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kent State. His name has been associated with some head coaching vacancies in the MAC.

Jim Bollman: Ohio State's former offensive coordinator and line coach, Bollman left OSU when Tressel was ousted. He spent 2012 at Boston College, where the staff was just let go.

Thad Jemison: Kent State's receivers coach under Hazell, Jemison is an Ohio State alumnus. His son, Tre'Von Chapman, is a Rivals.com four-star quarterback recruit who's committed to Pittsburgh.

Brian George: Kent State's defensive line coach under Hazell, George has some ties to the state of Indiana. He was IU's co-defensive coordinator from 2005-2011.

Jafar Williams: Williams has been Hazell's running backs coach at Kent State.

Dave McMichael: The coaching veteran came to Kent State with Hazell as special teams coach and tight ends coach after previously coaching 17 seasons at West Virginia, then nearly a decade at Connecticut. He was back on staff with the Mountaineers in 2010.

Mario Cristobal: Recently let go as head coach at Florida International, Cristobal worked with Hazell at Rutgers. He's a wide receivers coach by trade.

Dick Tressel: Ohio State's running backs coach for eight years under younger brother Jim Tressel, he spent this season Carleton College in Minneapolis. Dick Tressel also has a background in football operations. While with the Buckeyes, he recruited in Indiana.




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