For Dan Hawkins and the University of Colorado, this week has been a long time coming. The affable—and once very popular—head coach of the school’s football program has never done well in Boulder, posting five consecutive losing seasons and an overall record of 19-39. And Hawkins has run out of opportunities to correct the course, as the school has finally fired him, reports The Denver Post. It was widely believed that Hawkins would lose his job at the end of last season, after the team went 3-9, but it would have cost the school roughly $3 million. After Hawkins’ 17th consecutive road loss last weekend—a game in which the Buffs blew a 28-point fourth-quarter lead to a bad University of Kansas team, losing 52-45—the school had finally seen enough.
Despite being universally reviled as a coach among CU fans, Hawkins remains very popular among the team’s players, according to the Longmont Times-Call. Still, the school will spend about $1.8 million to buy out Hawkins, and associate head coach Brian Cabral will likely take over for the final three games of the season, leaving the school open to begin a search for Hawkins’ replacement.
One name already floating to the top of the list is legendary CU coach Bill McCartney, the architect of the 1990 championship-winning team. The Kansas City Star thinks it’s a great idea, noting that McCartney took over the Buffs in 1982 with CU coming off a three-year run of 7-26. He led the Buffs to a bowl game four years later, winning a championship in 1990. But that was 20 years ago, and McCartney is 70 years old. McCartney tells the Post he feels bad for Hawkins but that he’d be open to taking his job. “If Colorado was interested in me, I’d definitely be interested in returning,” McCartney says.