The Vikings have hired former Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell as their wide receivers coach, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur confirmed Friday.
The Vikings had been interviewing candidates since George Stewart, their longtime position coach who was well-liked by players, agreed late last month to become the special teams coordinator for the Chargers.
“His background is really in receiver play,” Shurmur said of Hazell. “He went on to become the head coach at Kent State and Purdue. But when we sat down and visited with him, we just felt like he’s a guy who can come in and teach our receivers extremely well.”
Hazell played receiver collegiately at Division III Muskingum. He then climbed the college coaching ranks. His stops included Pennsylvania, Army, Rutgers and Ohio State before he became the head coach at Kent State in 2011.
Two years later, he became the head man at Purdue. He did not last long, though. After winning only six games in his first three years, Purdue fired him midway through last season after the Boilermakers started 3-3. None of the Vikings coaches have ever worked with Hazell, but he impressed them during the interview process, Shurmur said.
This will be 52-year-old Hazell’s first coaching position at the NFL level.