November 26th

Dan Hawkins to be Colorado head coach in 2010

Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn confirmed Thursday that Dan Hawkins would indeed be the head coach at Colorado in 2010.

“Dan is our coach,” said Bohn. “We will continue to have candid, constructive discussions with each other”. Bohn went on to state, “We recognize the importance of continuity to reach our desired competitive results. We have made progress on many fronts, but fully realize the importance of improvement and growth of the program in all areas.”

CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil Di Stefano echoed support for the embattled Colorado head coach, who will enter the Nebraska game with a 16-32 record in Boulder. “I want all CU fans, supporters, and members of the University community to know that I support Athletic Director Mike Bohn’s decision to honor coach Hawkins’ contract,” said Di Stefano. Then, in a statement which will make Buff fans blanch: “…(Hawkins’) team has been competitive this year,” said Di Stefano. “He has done all that we have asked him to do.”

Really? 16-32 is “all that we have asked him to do”? No other coach, in the 120- year history of the football program at Colorado, has had four consecutive losing seasons. The top two rated recruits of the Hawkins’ era, Darrell Scott and Lynn Katoa, are nowhere to be found. A center (Kai Maiava) the Buffs wanted to move to fullback is now starting at center at UCLA. The single-season record holder for kickoff returns (Josh Smith) is sitting out the 2009 campaign, rather than play in Boulder.

Mike Bohn also had a few words for those who have been vocal about wanting a regime change. “During this challenging time, it is essential for our collective fan base to stay with the program,” said Bohn. “History has proven that our program is at its best when we channel collective passion, competiveness, and hard work in the same direction.”

The very worst part of this announcement will be the impact upon the 2010 recruiting class. Hawkins will be perceived – and portrayed by opposing coaches – as a lame duck. We will go into much more detail on this topic next week, as the Buffs once again have nothing to do but wait for spring, while other teams are getting in 15 more practices.

The 2010 season begins on Friday against Nebraska. A win, and there will be something to build on for next fall. Another loss, and the circle of support for Dan Hawkins will continue to grow smaller.

Mike Bohn has cast his lot with the future of Dan Hawkins. None of his three major hires have produced a winning season. If that trend continues, next fall Buff fans will be calling for more than the ouster of the head football coach …

Cheer loud and long for the Buffs against Nebraska. The near-term – and long-term – future of the program may just depend upon it …

 

Nov. 25th, 7:00 p.m. It is now being widely reported that Dan Hawkins will be retained for the 2010 season.

(I’ll pause for a moment, to let that last statement sink in).

Multiple sources, including Scout.com, are reporting that Athletic Director Mike Bohn had intentions of firing Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, but, while Bohn was in Hawaii with the men’s basketball team, Hawkins had meetings with Chancellor Phil Di Stefano and Colorado President Bruce Benson, and made a case for retention.

The scariest part of this latest development is the report that the 2010 verbal commitments have been contacted, and informed that Dan Hawkins will be retained.

The only hitch, pending the meeting between Bohn and Hawkins on Thursday, is that Hawkins must agree to restructure his buyout clause, and agree to changes in his coaching staff.

Stay tuned. This isn’t over yet …

November 25th

I’ve tried to avoid the hyperbole which has surrounded the Dan Hawkins’ saga, but there is so much out there, I thought I should at least try and summarize the latest …

In the “He’s gone” corner, you have most of the commentary. After the loss to Iowa State, eliminating the Buffs from any chance at a winning season, a bowl game, and the Big 12 title game, the call for the ouster of Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins became a roar. All (objective) indications since have pointed towards the Nebraska game being the last of the Hawkins’ era. Athletic Director Mike Bohn and Chancellor Phil DiStefano have been badgered about what will become of the only coach in Colorado history to endure four consecutive losing seasons (Chuck Fairbanks was only around for three; Bill McCartney posted a winning season in his fourth campaign), but  there has been no official announcement.

There have been other clues, however, with the most telling of which might have come from Dan Hawkins himself. On Monday, Hawkins expressed regret about having his son come to Colorado to play football. “It was selfish on my part. It really was,” said Dan Hawkins about his recruitment of Cody. “But he’s been great with it … When you win, everything’s good. When you lose, then everything’s wrong. And that just becomes an even bigger lightning rod.” This about a player who still has a year left of eligibility. These are not the quotes of a coach looking forward to coaching his son in 2010. They sound more like a coach who is trying to make sense of what went wrong in during his tenure.

There is also this … According to Scout.com and Rivals.com, there are no scheduled official visits for recruits this weekend, and none scheduled for December. This is prime visitation season, and the Buffs have shut down recruitment with half a class (and about half of the remaining alloted official visitations) unaccounted for. For the sake of comparison, Colorado had eight official visits between the last home game and Christmas break last year; 12 the year before. If you are looking to read the tea leaves about what might happen later this week, look no further.

But …

Yesterday, Vic Lombardi from Channel 4 News reported that Dan Hawkins had told his assistants that he would be back for the 2010 season. The story goes that Hawkins met with Chancellor Di Stefano on Monday, and came away with the impression that he would be retained. This led to an annoucement today from DiStefano’s office that no decision has been made. “We talked about a lot of things,” Di Stefano, “but this is the AD’s decision. We talked about things like, if Dan returns, what’s he looking at, what do we need?”

Then, just to add a little more to the drama, came the report that a final decision will be annouced on Thursday. “We’ll head back on the red eye,” said Athletic Director Mike Bohn, who was in Hawaii watching the Buffs win the seventh place game of the Maui Classic over host Chaminade, “and we’ll spend some time with coach Hawkins (Thursday)”.

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