Report: Indiana defensive tackles coach Mark Hagen heading to Texas A&M

Aubrey Bloom of the Texas A&M site is reporting that Indiana defensive tackles coach Mark Hagen, a former Hoosier linebacker, has accepted a position as linebackers coach at Texas A&M.

An Indiana spokesman said Tuesday night that he could not confirm the report at this time.

Hagen has been with the Hoosiers for the last two seasons under IU coach Kevin Wilson. He was previously a coach at Purdue.


  1. NOOOOOOO!!!!!! He was and is a hell of a recruiter, I guess I can’t blame him for going to A&M; their future is very promising. Best of luck to Coach Hagen.

  2. Oh $h!%, this is not what we needed. This is not good. Our best assistant coaches are vulnerable because IU simply can’t (or chooses not to) pay enough to keep them. I know some attrition is normal, but you’d think we could keep a group of assistants for at least three years. What bothers me is that Hagen’s not leaving for a major promotion. This is a lateral transfer made because he is (presumably) going to make more money.

    I suggest Glass re-consider investing any more money into IU’s football facilities for a while and focus on making sure Wilson has the budget to keep his key assistant coaches. We’re poised to turn the corner on this program and we can not afford coaching staff attrition.

    How much more money do you think Hagen is going to make at A&M?

  3. I agree with Podunker 100%. Just as we begin to improve we lose the guys that played a major part in that improvement, not to mention the fact that Hagen is an IU guy and a heck of a recruiter. Will this put any of our verbal commitments at risk?

  4. I expect IU’s counter offer has been made and is the reason for the non confirmation of the statement. Hope the offer keeps him as he and Fabris are a savvy duo coaching the front. Lord knows he was too good for PUke.

  5. I doubt IU can match A & M’s offer to Hagen. A lot of football programs can pay position coaches as much as IU pays their coordinators. For all those people who have complained about Wilson’s compensation, they need to realize that IU is way behind the curve in compensating football coaches. If I’m not mistaken, Purdue’s new coach is being significantly more than Wilson gets. I think that now puts Wilson at the very bottom of Big Ten football coaches.

    If IU hopes to be competitive in Big Ten football, Glass is going to need to fix this. Stop spending big bucks on big, fancy scoreboards and pay the men that can make IU football a winning program. And mark my words, folks; if IU wins seven games in 2013 or 2014, Wilson is going to get numerous offers to coach elsewhere for a lot more money!

  6. Have you guys not been paying attention? Glass IS paying big bucks for our coaches and assistants, especially in comparison to where we were before Wilson. He already has “fixed” this, as much he has realistically can. But from a revenue standpoint it’s simply laughable to assume that we can compete with a successful SEC program. Hagen is a talented up-and-coming coach. He’s surely not going to be content to be a position coach at Indiana when the option for a promotion arises. This is the world we live in.

  7. Charles, no offense, but you’re wrong. Relative to other BCS-conference football programs, IU does not pay its football coaches big bucks. We’re not even close! Forget about what the former staff was getting paid, Lynch was a place-holder until Glass could find the right head coach. The relevant comparison is what IU’s staff is getting paid relative to what other BCS-conference football coaching staffs are getting paid. And IU is near the bottom of that scale. I believe Wilson is now the lowest, or second lowest paid coach in the Big Ten.

    Today I read in the paper that Louisville just gave their head coach a contract extension and raise that makes him one of the ten highest paid college football coaches in the nation. His salary is now over $3 million per year! Frickin Louisville! That’s double what Wilson is getting paid. If anyone thinks for one minute that if IU wins seven games in either of the next two years, other programs won’t be coming after Wilson with offers of over $2 million per year, they are naive. College football is big business and these football coaches are responsible for generating huge profits for their schools, just like a CEO and the executives of a major corporation.

    If you want to be competitive on the field, you have to remain competitive with coaching compensation. I fear IU is, once again, slipping further behind the curve in the most financially important sport.

  8. Louisville only cares about sports. This is the same as UK. When is the last time either of these programs were ranked in anything for academics? Strong took Louisville for a ride.

  9. Podunker, it doesn’t matter what the comparison is between us and the rest of the Big Ten. What matters is what we used to spend and what we can spend. We used to spend a lot less, and now we’re spending as much as we can. There’s nothing more Glass can do at the moment other than continue to grow the program, generate more revenue, and thus have more money to spend on coaches.

    Hoeppner was getting $600,000. Lynch was getting $400,000. Wilson is getting paid $1.2 million. End of conversation.

  10. If the issue is whether IU is in a position to compete (at least moderately) with the rest of the B1G, that seemed to be Glass statement in the contract discussions with Wilson. These covered not only Wilson and his pay but Wilson very intelligently made his staff’s pay an issue at the time (refer back to his hiring).

    I believe Glass gave him a lump sum to cover staff salaries and allowed Wilson to divide them as he saw fit. Wilson, in turn, paid what is generally considered adequate to his key personnel (he did pay Coach Littrell what was considered a very good sum given the importance of his responsibilities). Coach Hagen left a similar job at Purdue, so I assume he was making OK money before he came to the Hoosiers, though not necessarily great, and he was at IU.

    I really do not believe money alone would have been the issue. Glass is not a dummy. What I’ve seen of his decision making makes me think he is the best AD we’ve had since Bill Orwig. Money, I have found, is usually the easiest of the issue to resolve in any contract negotiation. I suspect Coach Hagen is now at or near half-a-million at A&M. I do think that two things probably weighed more heavily and influenced his decision; 1/ The job A&M offered him includes ‘linebacker’ responsibilities, which both broadens and adds significantly to his resume, 2/ A&M’s current and projected high profile nationally probably. Both, taken together, offer Coach Hagen much more exposure and put him in a much better position towards a higher level job rather early in his career. He can’t be blamed for making a logical career decision.

    I’ve also found that Coach Wilson knows what he is doing. We will miss Coach Hagen. He was a perfect coach in the sense of his history at IU, his knowledge of the State and what appears to be solid connections with high school coaches. But, I expect that Coach Wilson now has that much more under control than the situation two years ago when he minimally knew the state. I also think that CKW’s long history as an assistant coach at the highest levels probably has given him a good view of what assistants think about over a career. More importantly, he probably has as solid an idea as there is of who is out there and may be available to replace Coach Hagen.

    And, he knows he has a very smart AD behind him who will support him and go to back to make this as seamless a transition as possible. We’re in good hands and I’ve long ago decided that our hopes in football are best when those making the decisions are left to their judgment rather than our anxiety as a basis for making them. We really were fortunate that we came along at just the right point in KW’s career to be the ‘prettiest one at the dance not yet dancing’. So I just dance on.

    1. A worthwhile quote from Mark Hagen that applies to this discussion from Andy Graham’s column that will appear in Sunday’s Herald-Times:

      “Mr. Glass made a strong push to keep me,” Hagen said of IU athletic director Fred Glass. “I met with him (Wednesday). He matched what A&M will pay me, and I really appreciated what he and Kevin tried to do. That meant a lot to me, both as an employee and as an IU graduate.
      “That proves, once again, that they truly want to make football go here. It’s not lip-service. It’s the truth. I wasn’t looking for a school to out-bid the other or anything, but IU was prepared to match it. I think it’s important that people understand that the IU administration and Coach Wilson made very strong gestures and commitments to keep me. They didn’t have to do that, and it meant a lot to me. I want to make sure everybody understands that, not out of ego, but because I want people to understand the commitment to football being made here.”

  11. I wanted to add one other issue regarding our competitiveness. I would suspect we are currently operating at about 2/3 of what our football budget can potentially due.

    Generally speaking, we are drawing somewhere around 30,000-35,000 fans per game with a potential of 54,000. Don’t forget that happens only when an opponent like Ohio State brings their fans (just as we do when our basketball team goes to Chicago). But, as far as I know, the extra number of tickets sold through OSU is split.

    So, we are leaving about $800,000 per home game (assuming an average about $40 per ticket NOT SOLD), plus (my guess of $150,00 parking and $200,00 for ‘other’ expenditures on the table. That’s a total of $1.2-$1.4 million per game with minimum additional expenditures (parking attendants, stadium seating attendants, etc). Given 6-7 games…we’re probably talking $7-$8 million per season. (It’s important to remember that this is likely pretty much ‘clean’ money in that ‘guarantees’ to the opponent, etc are paid in front and regardless (in most cases) of the draw.

    This is all a guess in my part but, it seems to me, that if AD Glass can put even 15,000 additional Hoosier fans in the seats, issue like Coach Hagen, retaining Coach Wilson and other staff members really become a secondary issue.

    And, with increased demand, I would guess Varsity Club contributions to marketing and advertising incomes to the Hoosiers would follow.

    For all of the teeth grinding and hand rubbing we do as to how we can improve our programs and better represent what ‘It’s Indiana’ can mean in football; and all of the advice we give the coaches as to how to run and coach our teams (…at my case (like most of you)…it’s free- if I charged for it, it would cost,…ohhhh, about $0.75 US)…there is one thing we can do to show how much it means to us (other than to write The Scoop with our critiques and burning ideas)…fill Memorial Stadium.

  12. Mr. Price, I had not read your quote of Andy Graham’s column (somewhat surprised you ran it here first)…but, it actually raises more questions than it answers. If money was not the issue why did he leave his alma mater? did he say or was it just ‘because’.

    While you seem to make a point of how highly he Coach Hagen spoke of IU, AD Glass and IU…there’s that old adage …(actually, there are several-pick one) but it does raise a question.

    BTW, hope you” run Andy’s entire column in “Scoop’ in the morning so everyone can hear it from Coach Hagen through Andy.

  13. Hagen’s comments actually make this news worse! If not money, why leave your alma mater? Don’t like the boss? Don’t think you can win at IU? Think you will advance faster coaching in the SEC? I wish Hagen would have either said more or nothing at all!

  14. Podunker, we haven’t seen the entire interview and it may be explained in there. That’s the problem with partial quotes; sometimes they say too much and not enough. You are right, it raises other issues though I would not want to speculate on what they may be.

    I agree, it needs further explanation. Whether from J. Price or Coach Hagen, I don’t know.

  15. “Generally speaking, we are drawing somewhere around 30,000-35,000 fans per game with a potential of 54,000.”

    We averaged 44,802 out of 52,929 (which is pretty fantastic for our program). Keep in mind, though, that filling up a stadium that’s 85% full doesn’t just add 15% more revenue. Ticket prices will increase, making even more money, and in the long-term you can start talking about filling in the south end zone as well.

    “Think you will advance faster coaching in the SEC?”

    Well, yes, of course you will. A&M just finished the season ranked #5 and Cotton Bowl champions. Obviously most coaches would be willing to go from Indiana to a school like that. This isn’t news.

  16. ” “Think you will advance faster coaching in the SEC?”
    Well, yes, of course you will. A&M just finished the season ranked #5 and Cotton Bowl champions. Obviously most coaches would be willing to go from Indiana to a school like that. This isn’t news.”

    …and that answers all the above questions.

    I think 95% of coaches would have made the same move.

  17. …just as an A&M assistant BB coach would be getting to a higher plateau moving to a lateral job at IU…

    Charles you are correct about 2012 FB attendance average albeit at a lesser ticket price than our conference opponents. Still positive progress.

    Some speculation from people more connected than I Toledo DL coach Eli Rasheed, Indy native, ex IU player might be a good DT coach at IU if Coach Wilson thinks he can bring the strong recruiting ability lost with Hagen’s leaving. Since he did not follow Beckman to Illinois it does raise a Q or 2.

  18. Coaching in the SEC is a double-edged sword. Yes, you may be able to advance your career faster, but as one of our co-defensive coordinators discovered a few years ago, you can also damage your career faster, become the victim of surrealistic expectations, find yourself scapegoated for one less-than-perfect season, and end up coaching at New Mexico.

    Coaching football in the SEC is a High Risk – High Reward proposition. Helping IU become a winning program (for the same money) would seem to offer a higher quality of life for one’s family, less risk, and just as much upside.

  19. Podunker, I agree with you on every point. Simply put, I think Hagen made a mistake but he’s a grown-up… I also very much agree with AD Glass in matching the offer but not going $0.10 (US) beyond that. Last thing we need is to get involved in bidding games.

    We’re as solid a conference as there is (I said solid, not ‘the’ best but year in-year out, we offer top universities, with world-wide reputations, complete and outstanding athletic programs and, yes, excellent football. I don’t think that life in College Station, Texas is a jump over life in Bloomington by any means. I’d be interested to know if Hagen will feel the same way and, more important, Mrs. Hagen and the Hagen children.

    One last point. The day will come when Hagen’s name could come up as a candidate for HC at Indiana. Love is so short and forgetting takes so long.

    Hagen had a chance to be at Indiana at a very, very special moment in our football life; we were even willing to finance his making a statement. His quote seems like a lot of words, nothing more; the truth, he blew it.

    As some Roman general used to say; when it comes back around…not even justice!

  20. I’m aware that initially, before learning financial considerations were removed as an issue by Glass’ offer matching A&M, I had stated that I thought Hagen had a right to pursue it on the basis of his career.

    Of course, that was negated when AD Glass matched the offer and the choice became one of ‘my alma mater Indiana vs. Texas A&M, only known for its football team and a student body trying to mimic West Point.

    My feelings changed when I learned that, in good faith, IU had matched A&M’s offer. I am a big believer that there is still a place for ‘honor’ and ‘allegiances’. IU had given Hagen a great chance and when he accepted it he knew exactly what he was stepping into. He also should have known how important his representation of the Hoosiers was in the State, how important offering an image of consistency and durability would be for the coaching staff and how important it is to us fans to ‘stay the course’ for us to reach our goals (and CKW’s).

    Simply, Hagen told us to ‘blow it out our ears’. Not really the Hoosier I thought he was.

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