Members of the Kent State University and Kent community gathered Wednesday to wish the Golden Flashes good luck as they prepare for the GoDaddy.com Bowl on Jan. 6 against Arkansas State.
Players gathered at Laziza with outgoing coach Darrell Hazell to sign autographs for fans for about 45 minutes Wednesday.
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Then Hazell and other members of Kent State Athletics, along with Joel Nielsen, the athletics director, and Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala, strolled down Erie Street to watch eight of the international flags atop the AMETEK building swapped out for Kent State flags — similar to what was done for the team's appearance in the 2012 MAC Championship game.
After that, Water Street Tavern hosted the “Portage Community Bank Bowl Preview Show."
For Kent State, the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Alabama is the first bowl game in 40 years. They will face the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Arkansas State (9-3, 7-1) was the Sun Belt Conference champion this season.
Under Hazell the Flashes finished 11-2 this season, going undefeated in MAC play, earning the MAC East title and getting its highest ranking ever in the BCS era.
This week the university announced former assistant coach and alumni Paul Haynes will take over as head football coach following Darrell Hazell's departuer for Purdue.
Haynes, who played for Kent State 25 years ago, also worked as an assistant coach in 1999 and 2000 before moving on to Ohio State University and then Arkansas before coming back to Kent, according to Kent State Athletics.