BISMARCK, N.D. - He came to the University of Mary from Polson, Mont., to play quarterback and he graduated as the schools all-time leader in yards, completions and touchdowns.
Now, the 27-year-old is back to lead the Marauders program from the sidelines.
"Ladies and gentleman, our new head football coach, Craig Bagnell," said Dale Lennon, University of Mary athletic director.
Lennon's announcement is a milestone moment for University of Mary. It's the first time a former player has returned as the head football coach.
Lennon said: "Back when I was coaching here, you know the football program was only about 10 years old. Now, we're at a point where it is good that you can have a group of alumni very active, that can contribute to the program, and bring a former player back as your head coach. I think that's good. I was a product of that myself, I returned to the University of North Dakota, and it worked out pretty well."
"It's just great to see a University of Mary person here, when you bleed University of Mary blue, and you've done it, and you believe in it, and when you've been here and you want to come back, that speaks great volumes, and it's exciting to have him back," said Myron Schulz, former University of Mary head coach.
Following his record setting days as a Marauders player, Bagnell started his coaching career at Bemidji State. He spent three years as the Offensive Coordinator.
In 2016, the Beavers had the 4th-best Division-II offense in the country.
Craig says he may need some time to adjust to being back on-campus as a professional.
"The weirdest moment was probably when I went to get my student ID card, now, my facility ID card, so going and taking a new picture, they showed me my old picture from when I was a freshman out of high school, I had long hair, and a necklace, and it looked weird. I'm glad that one's gone, and deleted, but it's definitely exciting. There's so much going on here, and it's so different from when I was here as a player, that's 4 and a half years ago, and you can see the development that has happened, so there's a lot of exciting things going on," said Bagnell.
Bagnell is the youngest NCAA head football coach in the country at any level.