The aforementioned sadness stems from the fact that one of the Flashes#8217; own was unable to turn things around.
Haynes almost seemed relieved following the Akron loss. His eyes weren#8217;t as red and bloodshot as usual, his demeanor more upbeat than expected after bowing to his bitter backyard rival for the fourth time in five years. He took full advantage of the final question he would answer as head coach of the Kent State football team to give an honest and accurate assessment of the program.
Injuries actually played a major role in Kent State#8217;s struggles during each of Haynes#8217; five seasons. The rugged non-conference schedules his teams were forced to take on each year certainly did not help keep players healthy. In Haynes#8217; five years, the Flashes faced three defending or eventual national champions in Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson, along with LSU, Penn State (twice) and Louisville among others.
No coach in the nation could have done a better job of guiding his young men through those stunning tragedies than Haynes, who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the families of the deceased and his players were taken care of in every way imaginable during those incredibly difficult times. He always said his primary task was to build men, not players, and those words came to fruition when tested to the fullest.
Haynes also had to deal with a major health scare of his own. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine exam last summer, and missed the 2017 season opener at Clemson while recovering from successful surgery. He officially returned to the team just in time to watch his star senior quarterback, Nick Holley, suffer a season-ending injury for the third consecutive year in Week 3 at Marshall.