FAYETTEVILLE — Former Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes has landed the head coaching position at Kent State, according to multiple reports Monday night.
Haynes spent Monday on Kent State’s campus interviewing for the position and was extended an offer last night, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Haynes will be formally introduced as the program’s next coach during a press conference today.
Haynes couldn’t be reached for comment late Monday night.
It will be the first head coaching job for Haynes, who left Ohio State last winter to become defensive coordinator at Arkansas. His young group struggled throughout the 2012 season, but did show signs of growth by the end of the year.
Haynes is a Kent State graduate and played for the Golden Flashes under former coaches Dick Crum and Pete Cordelli. He also was the assistant coach at the school under former coach Dean Pees in 1999-2000.
Haynes will replace outgoing coach Darrell Hazell, who was recently hired by Purdue after going 16-9 in two seasons at Kent State. Hazell — who is leading the program through the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6 — worked at Ohio State with Haynes. He told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer that Haynes would be a good fit if hired.
"I really like him,” Hazell told the newspaper before Haynes’ hiring became widely reported Monday night. “I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but he can relate well with the kids, if he does get hired. He'll bring some of the same things that we do now with him. Obviously, he's an alum. He's a really good guy."
Haynes also becomes the second assistant coach from Arkansas’ 2012 staff to land a head coaching position this month. Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino was named head coach at Idaho. Another former Arkansas assistant — Garrick McGee — recently completed his first season as a head coach at Alabama-Birmingham.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau