CU's Hawkins isn't backing off 10-win forecast
By B.G. Brooks
BOULDER – Call it a leap of faith or an ill-advised dive into the pool’s deep end, but Dan Hawkins is sticking by a phrase that continues to generate lively dialogue months before the 2009 college football season even begins.
As the final speaker at the University of Colorado’s senior banquet a couple of months ago, Hawkins told his team and others in attendance he wanted this from the ’09 Buffaloes: “Ten wins and no excuses.’’
Remember, Hawkins’ teams haven’t won more than six games in any of his three seasons in Boulder.
His 2007 team finished 6-6 in the regular season, but ended 6-7 following a 30-24 Independence Bowl loss against Alabama – and that campaign constitutes his high-water mark. His overall CU record: 13-24.
No matter. The ebullient Hawkins is expecting his fourth Buffs team to make what amounts to a quantum leap in the win column. And he wants his players to know his belief in them is unwavering – thus, the “10 wins and no excuses.’’
“It was a challenge to the team . . . I don’t ever want to back off excellence as the bar,’’ he told InDenverTimes.com. “I want to keep that bar high, that standard high.
“To me, the expectation of excellence, the standard of excellence, I always want it high. I want it present in their minds. I believe in that philosophy.’’
Hawkins, whose five Boise State teams accumulated only 11 losses (53 wins), said he wants his players to know he’s not “backing away from (a goal of winning) the national championship and the Big 12 championship. I don’t want to go down that road (of redefining either goal).
“I believe in our guys and I believe they have a chance to have a special year.’’
Ten wins would certainly qualify. The Buffs hope steps in that direction will begin next Tuesday (March 31) with the first of 15 spring practices. The spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 25.
Contact B.G. Brooks at email@example.com or 303-748-9172