BREAKING: UVA’s Marques Hagans leaving for Penn State

Marques Hagans

Marques Hagans (Photos: UVA Athletics)

By Jerry Ratcliffe

According to sources in State College, Pa., Penn State has hired longtime Virginia wide receivers coach Marques Hagans, who has also served as associate head coach of the Cavaliers for the past year.

Hagans, one of the most beloved Wahoos, has coached at UVA for the past 11 years under Mike London, Bronco Mendenhall and the past year under Tony Elliott. He has been credited for his work in developing UVA’s receiving corps.

At Penn State, Hagans will be reunited with one of his best friends, former UVA All-American defensive back Anthony Poindexter, who is a defensive coach at Penn State. One of Hagans’ sons is named after Poindexter, who was a candidate for UVA’s head coaching job when Mendenhall stepped down after the 2021 season. Virginia hired Elliott, who promoted Hagans to associate head coach.

Hagans will take on the role as receivers coach for the Nittany Lions as well as serving as the program’s offensive recruiting coordinator, replacing Taylor Stubblefield, who held those positions the past three years. Penn State lost its top two receivers from this past season, Parker Washington (46 receptions, 611 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Mitchell Tinsley (51 receptions, 577 yards, 5 TDs). KeAndre Smith (24 receptions, 389 yards, 4 TDs), a senior, is the leading receiver returning, although former Florida State receiver Malik McClain (33 catches, 396 yards, 5 TDs in two seasons for the Seminoles) announced last week that he would transfer to Penn State.

Hagans, from the storied Hampton High School program under Mike Smith, came to Virginia from Fork Union Military Academy, recruited into George Welsh’s program by Danny Wilmer. Hagans had previously committed to Indiana, where he was expected to become the next Randel El.

Hagans played for Welsh and successor Al Groh, helping Virginia’s stunning upset of Florida State in 2005. FSU coach Bobby Bowden was quoted after the game as saying, “We couldn’t stop that dadgum No. 18,” which was Hagans, who played quarterback and wide receiver under Groh.

Of the top 20 career wide receivers in Virginia history, Hagans has coached nine of them.

Losing Hagans is a severe blow to the Virginia football program and the UVA football community. He was the heart and soul of the Cavaliers football staff, refusing to accept offers from other Power Five schools. Hagans was not only a force on the football field with his players but helped develop them off the field.

In fact, shortly after Elliott accepted Virginia’s head coaching job, he told media, “If there was one person that everybody said you have to keep, it was Marques Hagans,” in terms of assembling a new coaching staff at UVA.

Hagans is married to former UVA women’s basketball player Lauren Swierczek and the couple have two sons, Christopher Dex and Jackson Watford.

More will follow on this developing story.