Canadian Football League

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The University of Colorado football program has hired one of its all-time great players to fill the full-time vacancy on its coaching staff, as Darian Hagan has been hired as an offensive assistant, head coach Gary Barnett announced Wednesday.
Barnett also announced that offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, who has coached the quarterbacks all six of his seasons on the CU staff, will expand his coaching responsibilities to include the receivers. The opening was created last month when receivers coach Ted Gilmore left for a similar position at Nebraska.

CU interim chancellor Phil DiStefano expressed his support for Hagan's hiring, which is effective March 1. Hagan is already on staff as the defensive technical intern, a position he has held almost exactly one year, assuming the role last February 11.

Barnett noted that Watson's expanded role where one coach is responsible for tutoring the quarterbacks and receivers is a very common combination for teams that run the west coast offense.

Hagan will assist the offensive staff immediately and time will define his role more clearly, Barnett said. As far as his recruiting responsibilities, Hagan will have the Los Angeles area as his initial assignment, but that could expand as decided upon later.

"Darian Hagan is a very bright and professional young man, and he will bring great value to our program, our university and our state," Barnett said. "Knowing Darian as I do, he will work relentlessly to adjust to his new role and take great pride in his responsibilities. This man knows what excellence is and will demand it from his players and from himself. I am extremely excited for Darian and for the University of Colorado football program."

Hagan, who turned 35 on February 1, is in his third "stint" with CU. He first starred at quarterback for the Buffaloes between 1988 and 1991, leading the school to its first and only national championship, and following his professional playing career, returned in the mid-1990s to work as CU's Alumni C Club Director.

Hagan left CU in the spring of 1998 to work as an area sales manager for the Transit Marketing Group. Three months into his new position, he was promoted to Southeast Regional Sales Manager. He remained in that position for over five years until deciding to pursue his dream as a coach and return to his alma mater for the third time. By working as a technical intern, he learned the intricacies of the profession in a hands-on role in his desire to coach; last April, he was "activated" as a coach to work with the defensive backs to fill a vacancy on the staff.

"Not to start off with a cliché, but this is a dream come true," Hagan said. "Ever since I left here, I always wanted to come back to the University and this program as a football coach. I've traveled many different avenues to get here, and I'm grateful that Coach Barnett has given me this opportunity to fulfill this dream of mine. There was no other place I really wanted this to happen, as it's the only place I've ever wanted to coach. If it didn't happen here, I don't think I could have been that excited about coaching anywhere else."

Arguably the best all-around athlete in the history of the CU football program, he was an integral part of CU's run at two national championships in 1989 and 1990. The Buffs were 11-1 in 1989, losing to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, but went 11-1-1 in 1990 with a win over the Irish in an Orange Bowl rematch to give CU its first national title in football. CU was 28-5-2 with him as the starting quarterback for three seasons, including a 20-0-1 mark in Big Eight Conference games as he led the Buffs to three straight league titles in 1989, 1990 and 1991.

In 1989, he became just the sixth player in NCAA history at the time to run and pass for over 1,000 yards in the same season, finishing, as just a sophomore, fifth in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy. He established the school record for total offense with 5,808 yards (broken three years later by Kordell Stewart), and is one of two players ever at CU to amass over 2,000 yards both rushing and passing along with Bobby Anderson. He was a two-time all-Big Eight performer, and the league's offensive player of the year for 1989 when he also was afforded various All-America honors. He still holds several CU records and was the school's male athlete-of-the-year for the 1991-92 academic year.

In 2002, he was a member of the fourth class to be inducted into CU's Athletic Hall of Fame, and his jersey (No. 3) is one of several to have been honored.

Hagan played for Toronto, Las Vegas and Edmonton over the course of five seasons in the Canadian Football League, mostly as a defensive back and special teams performer. He returned to CU to earn his diploma just prior to his last professional season, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology in May 1996. He was hired later that year (December 1) as the Alumni C Club Director, a position he held for 16 months until leaving for an incredible opportunity in private business.

He was born February 1, 1970 in Lynwood, Calif., and graduated from Los Angeles' Locke High School in 1988, where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was drafted in two sports, football (by San Francisco in the fourth round in the 1992 NFL Draft) and baseball (selected as a shortstop by both Seattle and Toronto). He is the father of one son, Darian, Jr. (16).


Post a Comment

<< Home