Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and FOX Sports is reporting that Penn State senior director of football operations Michael Hazel is set to join Brent Pry's staff at Virginia Tech as the chief of staff.
SOURCE: Michael Hazel, Penn State’s Sr. Dir. of Football Ops, is leaving to be chief of staff for Brent Pry at Va. Tech. Hazel came to PSU fm Vandy w/ James Franklin & played a key role behind the scenes particularly in how PSU was able to keep putting together excellent staffs.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 3, 2022
Hazel has been James Franklin's right hand man since Franklin was hired as the head coach at Vanderbilt with Pry being right there alongside both of them from Nashville to State College. For Pry to land Hazel is a massive splash with someone who knows what it takes off-the-field to compete, market, and brand at the highest level.
It's also a tremendous statement that Tech was able to poach Hazel from Penn State for what is very much a similar if not identical role albeit with a different title. Moves like this are rooted in how Tech not only increased their on-field staffing budget but also the off-the-field pool to well over $2 million.
Hazel's reputation is well-known as he was the 2020 FootballScoop Operations Director of the Year award winner after being a finalist in 2015 and 2016 as well.
Virginia Tech has made the hiring of Michael Hazel official.
The hiring of Hazel in addition to Mike Villagrana previously shows that Virginia Tech is modernizing their football program operations to match what happens at the biggest programs across the country. This is a refreshing change that undoubtedly should increase the opportunities for success for the Hokies in modern college football.