Hazell, 48, replaces Danny Hope, who was fired in late November. Purdue finished the season with three wins and will play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Oklahoma State. In four seasons, Hope was 22-27 at Purdue.
Hazell coached two seasons at Kent State, posting a 16-9 record. The Golden Flashes were 11-2 this season, losing to Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference championship game. He previously served as an assistant at a series of schools, including Rutgers from 2001-03 and Ohio State from 2004-10.
"Darrell is a great fit to build on our existing foundation," said Purdue Athletic Director Morgan J. Burke. "His leadership at Kent State, combined with his prior experience at Ohio State and other stops along the way, has prepared him to help us continue to move toward developing a championship-caliber program."
"I'm extremely excited to work with the players at Purdue and I look forward to experiencing a lot of success in the future," Hazell said in a statement Wednesday. "It's a wonderful opportunity. Purdue University has a great football tradition and I can't wait to get started."