The younger Hawkins says he learned his father had been fired Sunday evening, so he had a little more time to process the information than some.
News that Dan Hawkins was relieved of his duties as coach of the CU Buffs filtered out Monday night and school spokesman Dave Plati made it official Tuesday morning.
"To enter into the last two home games of this season with a really negative flair in the air, we just felt like it was time to end that," University of Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn said at a news conference Tuesday.
After going 53-11 as coach of the Boise State Broncos, Hawkins was one of the nation's hottest coaches in 2006 when he was hired to replace Gary Barnett. But after compiling a record of 19-39 at CU, culminating with his team blowing a 45-17 4th quarter lead on Saturday to Kansas, Hawkins was fired.
Bohn says he watched the body language of the team after its loss to Kansas and knew it was time to turn the page.
"And the best call that I got this morning was from the ticket office who called me and said, 'Hey Mike, I just want you to know, we had 800 tickets sold between 8 p.m. last night and this morning,'" Bohn said. "And I thought to myself, 'That's really cool.'"
The Tuesday news conference was bookended by the Hawkins father-and-son tandem, with Dan going first and Cody taking the microphone last.
"It's just a lack of production. It's not the guys on the team. It's not what's going on within the football program, it's the product you're putting out there on Saturdays," Cody Hawkins said. "Like Scotty [McKnight] stated earlier, college football's a business and there are a lot of great guys in this business who kind of get put out on the street."
Dan Hawkins thanked everyone at the university who worked to bring him in and pointed out a few achievements, including the addition of an in-door training bubble for cold weather.
"I'm sure I'll coach again at some point and some place," Dan Hawkins said. "It's always been kind of my passion. I've been doing it close to 30 years and mentoring kids and people has always been part of my make up and I'm sure I'll be back there at some point."
Cody Hawkins was seen sprinting to practice and high-fiving fellow students Tuesday morning.
"I came to a great place. I played for a great coach with a great staff, with a great environment, great program," Cody Hawkins said. "I've got the greatest dad in the world. I thought he handled everything very, very well. He was always a man of integrity, regardless of what was happening on the field."
The former coach says he'll still be around, but as a supporter instead.
"I'm going to be a passionate spectator here for the next three, hopefully four, games," Dan Hawkins said.
Interim coach Brian Cabral was a backup in the National Football League behind Mike Singletary and his job was to always be ready to step in.
"I feel I am ready to step in and, more importantly, to stand in the gap," Cabral said.
Cabral says he has three goals from here to the end of the season: To have the student-athletes finish their semester strong, to have the team finish its season strong for the seniors, and to have the CU Buffaloes community rally around the seniors.
"My role," Cabral said, "is to calm the storm."
Meanwhile, Bohn is embarking on a nationwide search to find a replacement for Hawkins. He says they're looking for the best coach and the best fit for CU. Some have suggested former CU coach Bill McCartney, who led the Buffs to a national title 20 years ago, would be a good fit.
"Bill McCartney's a viable candidate for us to consider," Bohn said.
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