So as the Golden Flashes finished an 11-1 season with a 28-6 win over an Ohio team that came in with an 8-3 record, athletic directors around the country who already have openings or are considering firing their coaches should have been taking notes on Kent State coach Darrell Hazell.
Kent State, which is in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 1973, finished its first undefeated MAC regular season in program history with the win. The Golden Flashes will play in the MAC Championship Game next week. Even though Kent State wrapped up the East Division title last week, it dominated Ohio. The Golden Flashes led 21-3 in the first quarter and were never challenged after that.
In Hazell's first year with Kent State, the Golden Flashes got better as the season went on and quietly won four of their last five games. Kent State lost 47-14 at Kentucky in Week 2, but have won 10 in a row since then.
Hazell has been coaching since 1986, with stops at places like West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State, but didn't get his chance to be a head coach until last year. Kent State hit a home run with the hire. Now the question is how long the Golden Flashes can keep him.
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