The Top 10 of 2016-17: Darrell Hazell's firing

Brian Neubert, GoldandBlack.com staff
Gold and Black
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AP

Top 10 stories: 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4| 3 | 2 | 1

GoldandBlack.com is running down its top 10 stories of the past year in Purdue athletics, a particularly loaded year.

#4 —PURDUE'S IN-SEASON COACHING CHANGE

There might not have been a college football who came into last season on shakier ground than Purdue's Darrell Hazell, with the Boilermakers taking the field last fall knowing their coach would be in trouble barring a dramatic turnaround.

With Purdue having struggled badly since his hiring in 2013, attendance dwindling and a new A.D. walking in the door, it was a matter of when, not if.

When Purdue got blown out at Maryland, the door closed.

Purdue, though, and new athletic director Mike Bobinski didn't want to fire Hazell in-season. Very few places and administrators would. Purdue's preference would have been to ride out the season, then make its move.

But when Purdue was then blown out at home by Iowa on Homecoming — the Hawkeyes led 42-14 before the Boilermakers' three fourth-quarter touchdowns provided some cosmetics — then the school's hand was essentially forced.

Hazell was fired the next day, having won just nine games in three-and-a-half seasons and Purdue immediately became more competitive under interim coach Gerad Parker, but still finished 0-6.

Though Purdue didn't want to make an in-season change, the early move most likely did help it land one of the most sought-after coaches on the market: Jeff Brohm.

— Brian Neubert

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