December 23, 1998
Berkeley - Head coach Tom Holmoe took a large step in solidifying his coaching staff with the appointment today of Steve Hagen as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
Hagen, 37, is regarded as one of the bright young offensive minds in college football, having been associated with successful offensive attacks for most of his 15-year coaching career. He has spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at San Jose State.
His coaching resume also shows stops at Notre Dame in 1990 where he coached Rocket Ishmael and the Irish went 12-1, at Nevada from 1992-93 where he was offensive coordinator for the Wolfpack who were the national total offense champions in '92, at Nevada Las Vegas in 94-95 when the Runnin' Rebels set or broke 20 offensive school records during his two-year stint there as offensive coordinator. UNLV won the Big West Championship in 1994.
Holmoe clearly was pleased to add Hagen to his coaching staff, filling a vacancy created when Doug Cosbie resigned the offensive coordinator position following 1998 season. "We had a lot of interest from all over the country in this position, but Steve had all the ingredients we were looking for," said Holmoe. "He's assertive, extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Plus, he has a great track record.
"He coaches a brand of offensive football that is aggressive and explosive. And that may be something that we've lacked the last couple of years at Cal. We're obviously on the right track with our defense and I feel confident that Steve can provide the leadership to accomplish similar things on the offensive side of the football. Everybody I talked with about him was impressed with his attention to detail and his passion for the game."
Hagen also said he was excited about his new duties at Cal. "Being a coordinator at a school like Cal in the Pac-10 is a thrill for me," said Hagan. "This is the highest level in college football and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
The new Cal offensive coordinator said he prefers a balanced offensive attack, but that it would have some similarities to several pro-styled offenses. "We'll have a lot of different formations and be able to run or play-action out of almost all of them," said Hagan. "We threw for over 3xx yards a game when we were at Nevada and so we believe in being able to move the ball through the air, but we also go into every game with the intent of establishing the running game. It sounds like a cliche, but you make adjustments according to what the defense is doing and sometimes that means you rely more on the passing game and other times you use your ground attack. The key is to be efficient and dynamic."
Holmoe and Hagen indicated that they hoped to fill out Cal's offensive coaching staff with the naming of an offensive line coach in the near future. "I don't want to put an exact time table on the appointment, but I can say we have a strong idea of what direction we're heading and hope to have something solidified by early January," said Holmoe.
Hagen is a 1983 graduate of Cal Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks where he lettered three years in football. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Illinois under Mike White in 1984, working with the quarterbacks. He then was hired by Mike Gottfried at Kansas where he served as a GA working with quarterbacks in 1985 and '86.
The following two years he served as a wide receiver and tight end coach at Northern Arizona during the 1987 and '88 seasons. He then accepted an offer from Lou Holtz and joined the Notre Dame staff in 1989 working with wide receivers on the Irish' 12-1 team that defeated Colorado in the Orange Bowl. He then spent two years as the Kent State quarterback coach before assuming the offensive coordinator position at Nevada-Reno.
Hagen is married and has two children with a third expected next spring.