Paul Haynes showed up to campus yesterdady with a plan to impress the decision makers at Kent State, and came away with a well deserved job offer to be the Golden Flashes new head coach.
Haynes played in the defensive backfield at Kent State in the late 80's into the early 90's (under three different head coaches) and has coached at nearly every level ranking from high school to D-II to FCS and FBS during his coaching career, even spending a year in the NFL with the Jaguars as a quality control coach. Haynes' experience spans across numerous conferences as well including the MAC (Bowling Green and Kent State), Big East (Lousville), SEC (Arkansas) and Big Ten (Michigan State and Ohio State).
During his time with Ohio State (2005-2011) Haynes made a name for himself in developing one of the most consistent and dominant defensive backfields in the nation. In four of those years coaching the secondary, the team ranked in the top 10 in pass efficiency four times, and ranked among the top five three times. In 2011, amid some adverse circumstances in Columbus, Haynes was elevated to co-defensive coordinator and left for an opportunity at Arkansas when the offseason rolled around. During his time with the Buckeyes, Haynes helped the team to a 66-11 record with six Big Ten titles, and earned trips to six straight BCS bowl games.
After helping lead the team to a Cotton bowl victory shortly after arriving in Arkansas, holding Kansas State nearly 100 yards under their rushing yard average, Haynes plugged his way through a trying season in Fayetteville under John L. Smith, who he had previously worked under at Michigan State. While the season didn't turn out the way he would have liked, it provided Haynes a great experience and will surely be something that he benefits from as he heads to Kent State.
In Haynes, the Golden Flashes are getting a passionate coach and proven recruiter that waited for the right opportunity to come along, and capitalized on it by making sure that he was ready to impress starting with the initial interview. His recruiting ties in the Buckeye state will prove to be very beneficial to the program as they continue to build on what Darrell Hazell left behind. The formula for Kent State's past two hires has bee very similar, as both Hazell and Haynes were former Ohio State assistants (on opposite sides of the ball).
Haynes walks into a great situation that has been built to compete for a MAC title in a very short period of time, and with his ties to the state, and reputation in the coaching profession, he shouldn't have a problem assembling a quality staff. Known in coaching circles as a grinder, Kent State is in good hands moving forward with Paul Haynes.