Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Kent State hires former Arkansas assistant Haynes as coach
NWA Media/ MICHAEL WOODS --10/24/2012-- University of Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes speaks to fans and supporters during the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club lunch Wednesday afternoon at Mermaids in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Former Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes will return to his roots as head coach at Kent State.
Multiple media outlets in Ohio reported Monday that Haynes has been hired by his alma mater to replace Darrell Hazell, who led the Golden Flashes to their first bowl game in 40 years this season and has been hired to head the football program at Purdue.
Haynes, 43, is expected to be formally introduced at a 2:30 p.m. news conference today on the Kent State campus in Kent, Ohio.
Hazell, who worked on the same Ohio State staff with Haynes for six years (2005-10), has agreed to stay on and coach Kent State in the Go-Daddy.com Bowl against Arkansas State on Jan. 6.
Haynes’ rise in the past three seasons has been swift. He was elevated to co-defensive coordinator on interim coach Luke Fickel’s staff at Ohio State for the 2011 season, took his first solo defensive coordinator job at Arkansas in 2012 and landed his first head coaching stint Monday after 14 years in the college ranks.
He is also the second Arkansas assistant in 2012 to land a head coaching job, following Paul Petrino’s hiring by Idaho.
Haynes, a former walk-on at Kent State, played four seasons for the Golden Flashes, earned a scholarship and finished with 440 tackles, the seventh-highest total in school history. The native of Columbus, Ohio, served as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at Kent State for two years beginning in 1999 before taking a position with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2001.
Arkansas ranked No. 72 in total defense after allowing an average of 409.9 yards per game. The Razorbacks were No. 20 in rushing defense (124.1 ypg) and No. 113 in pass defense (285.8 ypg). They ranked No. 113 with just 12 forced turnovers and did not score a defensive touchdown.
Sports, Pages 22 on 12/18/2012