Hawkins fired as Colorado football coach

BOULDER — Dan Hawkins was fired as football coach at Colorado three days after the biggest meltdown in school history put a cap on his five failed seasons with the Buffaloes.

Athletic director Mike Bohn promoted longtime assistant Brian Cabral to interim coach for the final three games of the season, beginning Saturday against Iowa State at Folsom Field.

Bohn said search for a new coach would begin immediately.

At 70 years old, former CU coach Bill McCartney has publicly expressed an interest in coaching again and remains a “viable candidate,” Bohn said. McCartney led the Buffaloes to their only national title in 1990.

“He’s a great statesman for our program,” Bohn said.

Hawkins was hailed as a “home run” hire by Bohn in 2006 after going 53-11 at Boise State. But he never had a winning season in Boulder in nearly five seasons, going 19-39 and losing his last 17 games outside of Colorado.

The final loss came Saturday. Colorado blew a 28-point lead at Kansas when the Jayhawks scored 35 points over the final 11 minutes for a stunning 52-45 win. It was the biggest collapse in the 121-year-old program’s history.

Dressed in Colorado colors — black suit, yellow shirt and striped tie — Hawkins stepped up to the podium at a news conference Tuesday, thanking former coaches, players and team personnel as he spoke for nearly 13 minutes, ending his speech with “Go Buffs.”

He didn’t take any questions from the media.


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