CHICAGO, Ill. – In his initial team meeting after being named the head coach at Purdue on Dec. 5, Darrell Hazell challenged his team for the first time.
“Purdue is always a team perceived in the middle of the Big Ten,” said Hazell, who came from Kent State. “Never up here or down there. It’s going to take a lot of work, but we’re going to climb ourselves out of the middle.”
The Boilermakers have had a winning Big Ten record just once over the last nine seasons, a 5-3 mark in 2006.
Hazell knows the Big Ten landscape from his seven seasons on Jim Tressel’s staff at Ohio State.
“Coach Tressel was a big influence on me,” Hazell said. “The great decisions he made on game day, when the bullets are flying. I learned a lot from Jim Tressel.”