Buffalo Nation, your wish has been granted and your long regional nightmare is now over.
The reports began surfacing in earnest late Monday night, and officially became a reality with a press release Tuesday morning. Dan Hawkins is out as Colorado’s head coach.
According to a press release issued by the school, has been relieved of his duties as head football coach of the Buffaloes effective immediately. Associate head coach Brian Cabral will serve as the interim head coach for the final three games of the 2010 season.
“We collectively believed that it was important to provide the opportunity for Dan as head coach and his current staff to pull things together, and things looked bright just one month ago after we opened with a 3-1 record,” athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. “However, things have gone downhill from there. While we recognize the progress that we have made in several areas during nearly five years under Dan, the negativity and divisiveness that is associated with the current leadership has become detrimental and is beyond repair to our current enterprise and it’s time to make a change.”
I’ve met some tremendously special people and had some fantastic experiences during my time here at Colorado,” Hawkins said. “Unfortunately, I was not able to bring the wins that so many Buff faithful wish for and deserve. My biggest pain comes from not being able to see the joy and happiness on our players faces on more occasions following a victory. CU has a great group of young men running out behind Ralphie every Saturday, those guys have worked very hard in the classroom, off the field, and on the field and have earned the right to win. I want the Buffs to experience that special feeling.
“I’d like to thank all the great people who surround and support the program, and especially those people on our staff who touch the players on a day-to-day basis; they are special. Please come out and support the University f Colorado football program and the players in the last two home games, as well as on the road in Lincoln, they need and deserve your encouragement. In the future I wish nothing but the best for CU as it moves in to the Pac-12, I hope everyone concerned with the program will pitch in and support the program on the path to another national championship.”
Per the release, Bohn said a search committee would be in place by the end of the week if not sooner to conduct a national search to name a replacement. While there is no established timetable, Bohn is fully aware that coaches can begin making in-home recruiting visits on December 1.
Hawkins, who was hired away from Boise State in December of 2005, finishes his four-plus years in Boulder with an overall record of 19-39 and a Big 12 mark of 10-27. He becomes the third Div. 1-A hot-seat coach to be fired during the 2010 season, joining Tim Brewster of Minnesota and Todd Dodge of North Texas.
“I fully support Mike Bohn’s decision to relieve Dan Hawkins of his duties immediately and appoint Brian Cabral interim head coach of the Buffs,” CU-Boulder Chancellor Dr. Philip P. DiStefano said. “I believe this is the right decision first and foremost for our players, who have worked hard and endured much this season, but also for our alumni, donors and fans, who have stood by the team over the last five years. Our focus should now be on supporting Coach Cabral and the team, finishing this season as strongly as we can, and setting our sights on obtaining a new head coach as we head into our inaugural season in the Pac-12 Conference.”
As for who will replace Hawkins as they move to a new conference, the early frontrunner appears to be former CU head coach Bill McCartney. The 70-year-old McCartney, the winningest coach in school history, has not coached since 1994, so of course he should be considered as the leader heading into the search.
Another name that’s been speculated on before Hawkins’ became official is LSU’s Les Miles.