FootballScoop is proud to announce that Michael Hazel is the 2020 FootballScoop Football Operations Director of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.
2020 presented the most challenging year ever for someone charged with overseeing logistics for a major college football program. Covid. Testing. Quarantining. New rules and standards being issued frequently. Travel restrictions changing throughout the season.
At James Franklin's side since the day Franklin first became a head coach at Vanderbilt, Hazel is trusted, respected and appreciated by everyone involved with Penn State football.
Franklin told FootballScoop, "The thing I like most about Michael is that he helps everyone become better. He is always reading, always thinking. He frequently prints articles and leaves them on my desk or slides them under my door. He does it for others. 'Hey, did you see this article?' Really, he's trying to help you become the best person you can be."
Franklin added, "Really, I don't know how we would do it all without Michael. I trust him completely. In fact, he knows me so well, oftentimes he's a step or two ahead of me. He knows what I'm thinking, what I'm going to want or to say sometimes. He's really an extension of me in many regards. He helps run our program."
In addition to Hazel, Franklin notes he has been fortunate to have had Kevin Threlkel and Andy Frank serve on staff with him at Vanderbilt and Penn State. "Together, Michael, Kevin and Andy, those guys really work well together. We're a stronger team because of those men. Those guys have no egos, they simply do whatever is needed to help us be the best program we can be."
Hazel, who played linebacker at Elon, was on staff at Vanderbilt when Franklin was hired as head coach. Franklin retained Hazel, and the two have worked side by side ever since.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Prior winners selected Will Gilkison (Rutgers) as a 2020 winner alongside Hazel.
Previous winners of the Football Operations Director of the Year award are Tom Deahn (Temple, 2009), Mike Kerin (West Virginia, 2010), Mike Sinquefield (TCU, 2011), Matt Doyle (Stanford, 2012), Jason Grooms (Ohio, 2013), Mack Butler (Oklahoma State, 2014), Mark Robinson (Florida State, 2015), Tim Knox (Illinois, 2016), Tyler Cook (UAB, 2017), Shane Elder (North Texas, 2018), and Randy Ross (Arkansas, 2019).
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