Knightly News � 3 February 2004
The former Knights captain Michael Hagan will become the club�s longest serving coach after re-signing with Newcastle yesterday.
The premiership-winning coach has agreed to remain with the club until the end of 2006, stretching his tenure as coach to six years.
Hagan was recently appointed Queensland�s State of Origin coach following the departure of Wayne Bennett.
Hagan said he felt it a privilege to coach �what is a very good football team at a very good football club.�
�The Knights were very supportive of me during my playing career and that has certainly been the case during my time here as a coach,� Hagan said.
�My family is also happy here, which does make the decision a little easier to make.�
�I do know that expectations are justifiably high in Newcastle but I am confident that, given the programmes that we have in place, we will be able to meet them now and in the future.�
Knights Chief Executive Officer Ken Conway said the club was �extremely happy� to retain Hagan�s services. �Michael is held in extremely high regard by all within our organisation and it has been a priority of ours to secure his services beyond 2004,� Conway said.
�In a relatively short space of time, Michael has won a premiership with the club and been appointed to the prestigious position of Queensland State of Origin coach � which I believe is an indication of both his ability and stature in the game.�
�On top of that, Michael has the advantage of being a former player with the Knights and brings with him an understanding of the importance of the club�s culture to our success.�
The signing of Hagan is expected to significantly increase the chances of the club retaining key players such as Andrew Johns and Ben Kennedy, who both come off contract at the end of this year.