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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

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Page 18 of 110

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 17 Hazell not caught up in bigger picture 1 Win Now Focus: BY STACY CLARDIE D arrell Hazell is relaxed. He lifts his stylish tan leath- er shoes up, places them on the stand-alone table near the middle of the office where he watches film, tugs at his argyle socks. There's no stiffness in his shoul- ders. There are no creases of concern on his face. There are no indications in his stat- ure, in his voice, in his countenance on this mid-June day that this season holds any more importance than his other three coaching Purdue's football team. Hazell knows with a new athletic di- rector on the horizon, his program will be evaluated closely, especially after a 6-30 record over those three seasons. But Hazell insists he does not worry about his future, his job security. In his 20 years of coaching, Hazell never has focused on such things, he says. He puts his effort into work, giv- ing his staff the tools they need to max- imize players' potential and preparing himself for every scenario as the per- son making the final judgment. He feels like, finally, his approach will produce results this season. Hazell sat down with Gold and Black for a 50-minute interview. Here's an excerpt from that conversation: Gold and Black: How do you view progress going into Year 4? Is it as black and white as wins and losses? Hazell: "I think so. Coming out of spring evaluating our spring practic - es and the coaching staff and how the things are working together, just the mentality of the players right now, I think we're in a good spot going into this year. Obviously, it's about wins and losses. Everybody knows that. But I feel really good, actually." Gold and Black: What areas have you pinpointed to rectify, or at least try to rectify, the losing issue? Hazell: "We're putting a major em - phasis on three things. As you go back and study the film, I think there were four games within the last three or four minutes of the game that we had a chance to win if you perform at the end. So one of the areas is two-minute (situations). Another area is our red zone offense, defense. The other big Tom Campbell Darrell Hazell knows the reality of the coaching profession — winning is the most important thing — but he says he doesn't feel any more pressure to do that now than before.

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