The Buckeyes were compelled to hire a new quarterback coach when health concerns forced Joe Daniels into an administrative role, but the pending departure of Hazell is Ohio State’s first departure to a promotion elsewhere since Tim Beckman, current Toledo head coach, left his position as cornerback coach in Columbus for the defensive coordinator position at Oklahoma State. In terms of head coach promotion, it’s the first since Mark Snyder (Marshall, 2004) and Mark Dantonio (Cincinnati, 2003). It’s definitely a deserved promotion for Hazell. Hazell came to the Buckeyes in 2004 and made his presence felt immediately. Both Ted Ginn Jr and Anthony Gonzalez came in with defensive back in mind, though both transitioned to wide receiver under Hazell’s tutelage. Their success paid dividends in the recruiting field, as Hazell became one of our best assistants. He helped bring in Philly Brown, James Louis, Chris Fields, Michael Brewster, DeVier Posey, and Chimdi Chekwa, among others.
The promotion for Hazell is deserved and we definitely wish future MAC championships for him. Future success for Hazell will probably prompt a blockade of Luke Fickell’s house in Franklin County should that result in more interest in the Tressel coaching tree. It remains to be seen if Hazell’s departure means he will not be with us for the Sugar Bowl, though I expect he will make the trip to New Orleans. Buckeye fans will now look to his replacement. There could be a variety of candidates for the job, but PJ Fleck of Rutgers is one to note. Fleck was a graduate assistant at Ohio State after finishing his career with Northern Illinois. Rutgers has fallen on hard times lately, but Fleck remains a promising assistant and a very good recruiter.