How Paul Haynes plans to keep Kent State football trending upward

By Allen Moff | Staff writer Published:

Paul Haynes was announced as the new head football coach at Kent State University on Dec. 18.

The former Flashes standout and KSU alum enters to replace Darrell Hazell, who quickly turned the program’s long traditioned losing history into the greatest season the school has ever seen.

Here is a look at the core components of how Haynes plans to keep Kent State atop the Mid-American Conference.


Age 43; born in Columbus, graduated from St. Francis DeSales High School in 1987; four-year starter at defensive back for Kent State from 1987-91; assistant coach at Kent State (1999-2000), Ohio State (2005-11) and Arkansas (2012, defensive coordinator).


“I have three basic goals. I wanna graduate all players, so they can be respectable citizens of this great country. I want to win, I want to be successful. The last thing, I want this football program to have a positive impact on this university, this community and this state.”


“We’re gonna focus and concentrate on what got us on top, the little things. I know Darrell Hazell and I know his philosophies, and his philosophies are a lot of my philosophies. We come from the same (coaching) tree. They’re all about building men. If I build great men I’m gonna put a great product out on the field. We’re gonna do the little things right, then we’ll find out how we can improve on everything else. Our philosophy works. I’ve seen it work for a long time.”


“We’re gonna pound Ohio. We can win with Ohio kids. We’re gonna recruit our kind of guys, not get caught up in stars and all that. I’ve had more success with two-stars than I have five-stars. Let’s recruit two- or three-stars and coach them into five-stars.”


“These kids are gonna understand that their purpose in life is more important than their goals in life. We’re gonna get out in the community, we’re gonna read to kids, visit hospitals.

“We’ll make sure these kids understand that it is a privilege to be a Kent State football player. We’re gonna pay forward for sure.”

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