Former quarterback will recruit L.A. area

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado has hired former quarterback Darian Hagan as an assistant, reuniting the school with the player who ran the option-style attack in 1990 that helped the Buffaloes win their only national championship.

"I believe this university is a special place," Hagan said
Wednesday. "It's the only place that I want to be."

Hagan, 35, will take over recruiting responsibilities in the Los Angeles area, where he grew up and where former Colorado coach Bill McCartney spotted him playing high school football.He followed up with a call to his son, Darian Jr., a defensive back at Crenshaw High in Los Angeles whom he identified as his No. 1 recruiting priority.

"I've got to beat [Southern California coach] Pete Carroll to the punch," Hagan said. "I'm not going to recruit him any
differently than I would anyone else. I want him to trust me. Just
like I would tell any other kid, 'We won't do you wrong.' "

Hagan was Colorado's starting quarterback for three seasons, helping the Buffs to a 20-0-1 mark in Big Eight Conference games and three straight league titles in 1989, 1990 and 1991. The 1990 team was 11-1-1 and beat Notre Dame 10-9 in the Orange Bowl for the national title.

In Los Angeles, one of Hagan's recruiting competitors will be UCLA assistant Eric Bieniemy -- the running back he often pitched the ball to when both were playing for the Buffs.

"We both have a gift for gab, and there are probably going to be some long nights," Hagan said.

Hagan, who has little coaching experience, will serve as an offensive assistant while he learns the West Coast offense after a year as a defensive technical intern. He will replace receivers
coach Ted Gilmore, who left for Nebraska.

"Darian is a very bright and professional young man, and he will bring great value to our program, our university and our
state," coach Gary Barnett said in a statement.

Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson will coach both wide receivers and quarterbacks, but Hagan will also work with both
positions. Hagan said he feels comfortable coaching any offensive
position except the offensive line.

"My goal right now and my worth is to go out and hit the road recruiting," Hagan said. "That's what I bring to the table