Nov. 20, 2000
Holmoe indicated he had met with Hagen Monday morning and informed him of the decision. He said he would immediately begin a search for a new offensive coordinator and expected to have a replacement in December.
Hagen, 39, has spent the last two seasons with the Golden Bears as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Cal finished 9th in the conference in total offense this past season, averaging 317.5 yards a game, after ending up 10th in the Pac-10 in 1999 (averaging 250.8 ypg).
Holmoe said the decision was difficult, but necessary. "I saw some progress in the direction of our offense over the last half of the season, but not enough to convince me we were on the right path to take our offense to the next level," he said. "Steve is a man of character. He's good with the players and that made the decision difficult. However, we need to do what's best for the program and for our players and I believe a change is essential at this time."
Holmoe indicated he had been contemplating the change over the last few weeks, but came to a final decision on Sunday, following the conclusion of Cal's 3-8 season.
He said that he had definite qualities in mind for the new offensive coordinator. "I definitely plan to hire somebody with considerable experience as an offensive coordinator at the Division I level," said Holmoe. "This has to be somebody who can come in and inject a spark on our offense. It's also critical that we get a coach who has a proven track record in developing quarterbacks. Basically, this is somebody who can help us get on track right now. With nine starters back on offense, we're not in a rebuilding situation. We expect to win right now."
Holmoe said that he has targeted four prime candidates who meet his criteria and would begin discussions immediately with one or more of those coaches. "Since several of the candidates will be involved in bowl games, our final announcement of a coordinator may be delayed until sometime in late December, but I have every confidence that we'll be able to land the coach we want," he said.
The Cal head coach also indicated that he would recommend to the new coordinator that he retain some of Cal's current offensive coaches, but that the new coordinator would have the final authority to make any decisions as to who he wanted on his offensive staff.