Darian Hagan, one of the names synonymous with Colorado's rise to
glory in the late 1980s, is in his eighth season overall on the CU staff,
shifting from coach into the role of director of player personnel in January
Hagan, 42, spent five seasons (2006-10) as running backs coach, as
he was one of two assistant coaches retained by then new CU head coach Dan
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
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 in the mid-1990s to work as CU's Alumni C
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
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
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
two sons, Darian, Jr. (23), who played defensive back at California from
2006-10, and the late DeVaughn (who passed away on December 6, 2010 at the age
of 19), and a daughter, Danielle (16).