Ricky Hazel joined the Stetson Athletics staff in October of 2011 after having spent the previous eight years at Troy University, where he served as Director of Athletics Media Relations.
Since his arrival at Stetson, Hazel was involved in the $3.3 million expansion and renovation project at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, working along side officials from the City of DeLand to completely refurbish the facility in time for the reintroduction of the Stetson Football program in 2013.
He followed up by serving as Tournament Manager for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Second and Third Round games at the Amway Center in Orlando, leading teams from Stetson, the Central Florida Sports Commission and the Amway Center in producing a sold-out event in March of 2014.
In addition to his day-to-day duties of overseeing communications efforts Stetson Football, Baseball, men’s and women’s Golf, Hazel also oversees coverage for all 18 Division I Athletics programs. Hazel is also in charge of the Hatters’ Athletics web site, GoHatters.com, and has been behind the addition of fan-friendly tools such as Hat Check, StetsonStats.com and PhotoShelter.
In 2014, Hazel oversaw the creation of Stetson Broadcast Productions, which produces high definition broadcasts from Hatters football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball and, starting in April, baseball games. That unit also serves the greater Stetson University community by producing video content and various live events such as commencement, musical and theater performances and lectures.
As the University’s primary licensing official, Hazel ensure that all marks and logos are used properly and all merchandise carrying those marks reflects well on the University, including the Stetson Law School, in addition to Stetson Athletics.
A native of Huntsville, Ala., Hazel attended the University of Alabama where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Communications in 1988. He went on to earn a Master's in Sport Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1994.
Prior to embarking on a career in college athletics, Hazel was an award-winning sports writer, earning more than 50 awards for writing and page design during five years as a sports editor.
Hazel started his career in athletics at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he primarily worked with the Golden Eagles' baseball and football programs. He served as the media coordinator for the inaugural Conference USA baseball tournament, which was played in Hattiesburg in 1996.
During his tenure in Hattiesburg, Hazel was a part of two NCAA Regional appearances for the baseball program and a pair of bowl games for the football team.
Hazel moved to Huntington, WV, to serve as Assistant Director of Athletics for Media Relations at Marshall University in 1999. While working with the football and baseball programs, he coordinated the Heisman Trophy campaigns for both Chad Pennington (1999) and Byron Leftwich (2002) during his time at Marshall. Pennington was selected as an All-American in 1999, was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and was the National Football Foundation's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
During his tenure at Marshall, the Thundering Herd won three Mid-American Conference titles in four years and won four consecutive bowl games. Marshall finished the 1999 season undefeated and ranked 10th in the nation.
Hazel left Marshall in 2003 and spent one year as the Sports Information Director at Alabama A&M University in his hometown, before moving on to Troy University in 2004.
During his time at Troy, where he continued to work with the football and baseball teams, while also handling men's and women's golf. The Trojans football program rose to national prominence with victories over nationally-ranked Missouri and Oklahoma State while sending players like DeMarcus Ware, Leodis McKelvin, Sherrod Martin and Jerrel Jernigan on the the NFL.
The Trojans won five consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles and appeared in five bowl games while Hazel was in Troy. The Troy baseball team also made three NCAA Regional appearances during his time there.
Hazel and his wife, Joan, will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in July and they are the proud parents of two fur babies, Izzy and Ellie.