It’s officially over.
The extended process that took more than two months and resulted in two new coordinators and five new assistant coaches ended on Friday when the Texas Longhorns announced Indiana Hoosiers co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Mark Hagen as the associate head coach for defense/defensive line coach.
He’s expected to work with the defensive tackles as Oscar Giles works with the defensive ends.
“Mark came really highly recommended, is a coach Chris Ash has been very familiar with and impressed by, and is someone we all had great visits with during the interview process,” Herman said. “He loves football and coaching, really connected with everyone and has a tremendous reputation as a coach, recruiter and as an outstanding person. He has strong ties to our state, as well, and when you look at the places he’s been, they’ve had great success developing defensive linemen and have had really productive units. We’re very excited about what he’ll bring to our staff, thrilled to have him onboard and looking forward to getting him to Austin.”
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to come work with Coach Herman and the UT staff,” Hagen said. “Obviously Texas football has great tradition and history, and I’m excited to be a part of it. When you think of college football, Texas is going to be in the conversation of top programs in the history of the game. Coach Herman has done a great job the past few years, there’s a lot of great talent on the roster, and I know he’s assembled an outstanding staff.”
Hagen has close to 30 years of coaching experience, spending most of that time in the Big Ten and the SEC, including three stints at Indiana and three years at Texas A&M. On the field, he’s produced 25 NFL players. On the recruiting trail, he was twice named as one of the nation’s best recruiters by Rivals.com.
“I’ve been able to recruit the state of Texas, and there’s no greater state for recruiting than Texas high school football,” Hagen said. “You learn really quickly the tradition and pageantry and just the love of the game as you go around the state, so I can’t wait to reconnect with those prior relationships. Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and is going to be very important for Texas football to continue on the path it’s on, and continue on that for years to come. I’m really excited about getting back there, working with the staff and diving into spring practice.”
Besides having coached against Ash, Hagen has a connection to the current staff because he worked with tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Jay Boulware at Northern Illinois more than 20 year ago.
“My family loves the state of Texas – the people, the hospitality – there’s nothing like it, so they’re super excited about their dad being back in the state,” Hagen said. “I know Jay Boulware from back in our days at Northern Illinois, and he was always talking about how great of a place Austin was and how proud he was to be a UT alum. I know he’s really excited about being back there, so I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with him.”