"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, 35. is one of the all-time great Colorado football players. He was inducted into the CU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
He ran CU's feared option attack from the quarterback position for three seasons (1989-91), never losing a Big Eight game in that span. He led CU to an 11-1 record in 1989, then helmed Colorado's 1990 national championship season, when CU finished 11-1-1. Colorado won three-straight conference titles when he was the Buffs' starting quarterback.
"This is a dream come true," Hagan said in a press release. "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.
Hagan, who played five years as a defensive back in the Canadian Football League, spent the past year as a defensive technical intern with the Buffs.
"There was no other place I really wanted this to happen, as it's the only place I've ever wanted to coach," he said. "If it didn't happen here, I don't think I could have been that excited about coaching anywhere else."
Receivers coach Ted Gilmore left Colorado for the same position at Nebraska last month. Barnett said Wednesday that the specifics of Hagan's role as offensive assistant coach will be clarified down the road. The hire is effective March 1.
One area Hagan is expected to impact immediately is in recruiting. He will be in charge of recruiting Los Angeles — where he is still a football legend — but his duties and area could expand in the future. His son, Darian Hagan Jr., is currently a junior at L.A.'s Crenshaw High and is expected to be a highly sought after recruit in the coming months. Colorado has already offered him a scholarship.
While no coach has carried the responsibility of coaching two positions at CU under Barnett, as Watson will do, Barnett said tutoring quarterbacks and receivers is not uncommon in the West Coast offense.