Hazell wasn't the only name on Purdue fans' wish list.
Initially, there was support for Northern Illinois' Dave Doeren, who took his name out of consideration long before he accepted the North Carolina State job. Burke also brought Cincinnati coach Butch Jones to campus Sunday afternoon, the day after the Bearcats clinched a share of a second straight Big East title.
Burke said he first contacted Hazell through a conference call last Wednesday, but didn't meet with him in person until Monday because he didn't want to be a distraction from the MAC title game.
By Tuesday, Purdue made its decision. Gov. Mitch Daniels called Hazell on Tuesday night after he accepted the deal.
"He's very impressive on the phone as well as on paper. He seems to be a high-character person and he has a reputation for caring about the life success of his players and not just simply their success while passing through," said Daniels, who takes over as Purdue's president next month but was not involved in the search process. "Those are the kind of values we want Purdue to be successful with."
Hazell also has been an assistant at Rutgers, West Virginia, Army, Western Michigan, Penn, Eastern Illinois and Oberlin College in Ohio. He was a receiver at Muskinggum College and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 1993.
And now, Burke thinks he has the right man to restore some luster to Purdue's proud program.
"I asked about the style play, and he said it doesn't matter what style of play I like to use, you have to come in first and evaluate the talent," Burke said. "He (Hazell) said at Purdue, you've been built for speed and there's something in your DNA a bout quarterbacks. So I pushed back a little bit, and I asked 'Why I should buy into that statement. He said, 'When I was at Ohio State, I was in charge of the receivers with Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr., and I was their advocate.' I liked that."
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