|Position:||Assistant Coach/Running Backs|
|Alma Mater:||Colorado '96|
Darian Hagan, one of the names synonymous with Colorado’s rise to glory in the late 1980s, is in his 11th season overall on the CU staff, shifting from coach into the role of director of player development in January 2013.
Hagan, 45, spent the previous two years as the director of player personnel (2011-12) under head coach Jon Embree. He worked five seasons (2006-10) as running backs coach for head coach Dan Hawkins, as he was one of two assistant coaches retained by Hawkins when he was named to the position in December 2005.
He was named an offensive assistant coach on Gary Barnett’s staff on February 9, 2005, and worked with the skill position players on offense in the spring and fall in his first year as a full-time collegiate assistant.
A popular coach with his players yet with a stern touch, he was coaching true freshman Rodney Stewart on the way to a 1,000-yard season in 2008 until a season-ending injury sidelined him in the ninth game of the 2008 season. Stewart’s 622 yards were the third most by a CU freshman in school history. In 2010, Stewart hit the plateau and then some, rushing for 1,318 yards and in position to threaten many of the school’s all-time rushing marks. In 2007, Hagan tutored Hugh Charles to a 1,000-yard year including the Independence Bowl; he has since gone on to play successfully in Canada.
Hagan made a difference in his first season (2006) mentoring the running backs, as CU had three 500-plus yard rushers for just the 10th time in its history. He also played a role in the development of quarterback Bernard Jackson, as Hagan’s own skills of blending the run and the pass rubbed off on the Buff junior in his first year as a starter.
He had a brief taste of coaching in the spring of 2004 as he subbed as secondary coach when the staff was minus a full-time assistant. Otherwise, he was the defensive technical intern for the ‘04 season, assuming that role in February of that year. It marked the third time he has made the University of Colorado his destination of choice.
He starred at quarterback for the Buffaloes between 1988 and 1991, leading the school to its first national championship, and following his professional playing career, returned to CU in the mid-1990s to work as the 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; when a temporary vacancy opened on the staff, he was “activated” as a coach to work with the defensive backs and it added to his penchant for the profession.
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. His 28-5-2 record as a starter (82.9 winning percentage) is the 37th best in college football history.
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. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame finally recognized his achievements as well, inducting him into its prestigious group in the Class of 2014.
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.
In the summer of 2015, he served as an assistant under former CU head coach Dan Hawkins for the champion Team USA in the Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Championship in Canton, Ohio.
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 two sons, Darian, Jr., who played defensive back at California, and the late DeVaughn (who passed away on December 6, 2010 at the age of 19), and a daughter, Danielle.