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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jumping into the Fire: Dan Hawkins blogs exclusive to EGC

By: Dan Hawkins

Football is a great microcosm of life and it’s a great preparation of young people for life. You have to # 1 not be afraid of a challenge. You have to be able to appreciate being in the fire and what that brings to your life. There’s a certain vibrancy there.

If we’re afraid to take risks, if we’re afraid of challenge, if we’re afraid of failure, we’ll never truly be all that we can be. I always say that we know this “big boy” football. We know that wins and losses matter; we know that. But how you go about the day to day operation is dramatically different than that.

If I’m a banker and my #1 goal is to make money then I’m missing the point. You have to take stock in the process over the product. You invest yourself emotionally in the process. You know that process is a soul-searching every day of how do we get better, how do we chase excellence, not being afraid of perfection, understanding that we can only get stronger through our mistakes. If we’re so afraid to make a mistake and so afraid to fail, we will never truly grow. It’s much like when you lift weights you’re actually tearing muscle fiber and allowing blood to infuse in there so that muscle can grow. That experience we have in life allows us to grow and that fear of failure keeps so many people from accomplishing the things they can accomplish because the reality is the real true failure is not allowing yourself to jump in the fire.

As we went down to Georgia, it was not about Georgia, it was not about winning the game. It was about chasing perfection and getting better and allowing our emotions and our thoughts to be in a positive light regarding the opportunity in the event. And so many people have said “Well how do you keep it going when you’re 0-3?” “How do you keep it going when you’re 0-4?” Well unfortunately they haven’t seen the other side of the coin. I’ve been where you’re 4-0 and it’s the same exact process. Your marriage doesn’t continue to stay good. You’re not continually a good parent. All those things need reinventing, reworking, fine-tuning and so is the same with a football program.

I was asked at the half-time at the Georgia game if I was happy that we were up 10-0 and I said, “No, I was not.” We should have been up 17-0 or 21-0. It’s not about the score; it’s not about the opponent; it’s not about your record. It’s saying, “Do I have the maturity and the guts and the where-with-all every single day to maximize who I am and continue to judge myself against myself despite the outside influences and opinions?” So many people would think you’re trying to prove something to the world. Well we’re not. We’re trying to prove something to ourselves.

I know those ideals sometimes sound kind of corny in today’s world but I’m very serious about that. We have a team of really great kids that have been through a lot and persevered. We have an entirely new organization from strength coach, trainer, academic people, AD, coaches, President, Chancellor, and those things take time to weave a web of interconnectedness. And our kids are battling, our coaches are battling, and everybody is staying positive and we’re continuing to find ways to improve. We’re really investing in that process. I have been through this in many different situations and in many different places before and have 100% confidence that if you’re willing to take a chance, to take a risk, and not be afraid to fail and have the guts to measure yourself against yourself on a daily basis you know you in the end will be everything you’re capable of being. You’ll have that magnificent, glorious, maximal experience in life, in marriage, in football, in school. I just have ultimate confidence in that.

So we went down to Georgia to express ourselves, to sing our song, to do our dance, to throw ourselves in the fire and we know there are lots of critics, cynics, scoffers and doubters but that’s not what matters. What matters is that person in the mirror and can we look that person in the eye and say hey I was willing to jump in the fire and live with it and learn and grow.

When I looked into Bernard Jackson’s eyes in the locker room after the game, I saw the sparkle. He’s just a kid that has been beat down and deep down inside there’s a vibrant soul and a vibrant life. Last Saturday we became a vehicle for that. That look in his eyes said I’m here and I’m not going away. That was… that’s awesome! That’s awesome for the football game and that’s awesome particularly in his life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still with you Hawk.
Look out big twelve.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am not jumping off the bandwagon. we believe!

GO BUFFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you Coach Hawkins. We have faith in you, this ship will be turned around! Keep working!!

12:35 PM  
Blogger Nikita said...

Us Buff fans are proud of the improvement we've seen in the team. We expect the Buffs to NEVER lose another game from here on out! ;)

All the best and go Buffs!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Commish CH said...

keep it up Dan! We believe, but a win would be real nice.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

Man if I was a recruit, I'd play for the guy. What a motivational speaker!

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may take time but I am confident that this program, our program, is in the right hands. As long as you coach the University of Colorado, I will support you!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always proud to be a Buff. Welcome aboard, Hawk.

You can definitely see something in their eyes. We will beat Mizzou.

Go Buffs.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawk, you've got the vision to make this happen. Keep getting at this thing and we'll be supporting you every step of the way.


2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's exactly what you expect to hear from an 0-4 coach. Focus on the process, not the result -- that's right, because if you focus on the result you'll see that you're just not that good and the truth just hurts too much. Barnett should still be with us. The GA game was a nice diversion but I suspect we'll get worse before we get better and recruits are jumping ship in hoards. It was fun while it lasted. Let's hope the rebuilding doesn't take more than 5 years.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on, you have to have more faith in our coach. He is doing a ok job and with our schedule, one can only hope for the best.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Mitchell said...

It hasn't been easy, but I can see the progress. We'll put it all together soon enough. Keep up the good work Hawk!

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proud as ever to be a Buff!

5:55 PM  
Anonymous mike said...

Hey Dan,

i will sit through thick and thin with you. i like your philosophy on the game. i dont expect to lose another game for the rest of the season. LETS GO BUFFS!!!! win the big twelve north!


7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BUFFS will win a national championship before Hawkins is done with this program.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anonymous poster at 4:54 wasn't a CU fan. Neither am I (Mizzou), but y'all need to recognize BS when you see it.
Very impressed with your coach. I'll be rooting for him AFTER Saturday. For now, here's to 5-0 and 0-5. Hope you still make a bowl. I've always liked CU's uniforms, and respect your scheduling.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i live in the heart of RED and one of the biggest games of the year!!! ( Nebraska ) i've been a BUFF fan since i was born. i'm proud to tell everyone here i'm a die-hard BUFF fan!!!! i think your doing a great job and one day the BUFFALOES will be back to where they were in 1990 with that National Championship in your hands!!!! keep up the good work!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can appreciate the depth of ideas Hawk is espousing but to lose 8 consecutive games is traumatizing to the fans and I'm sure the team. The Mizzou game is really a do or die moment for this team, the seniors, the season, and maybe the entire program near term. Its the start of the Big 12 which must start out on the right foot. Win and the buffs shock the oddsmakers, make the headlines, get momentum and then they have a shot at the Big 12 north and redemption. Lose, and the buffs will go 2-9 at best. Which will it be? The play of the Buffs, not Hawk's grand speach, will tell the story.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Tiger Paw twice and one coming said...

Dan is an inspirational speaker and seems like a great guy. Unfortunately, this Saturday, he's coming into the "ZOO", and here at Mizzou we have no intention of letting you start your turn around here. We haven't forgotten the last time we met, we still respect your team and will not let down our guard. You'll get our "A" game, which will be plenty to take the Buffs down one more time. I wish Colorado the best for the rest of their season. P.S. if you wanna knock off Nebraska, we're all for ya. We're gonna do it too!

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Maestas said...

I've been a huge GOLD and BLACK fan for all my life, I make the annual pilgrimage to Boulder every year to watch at least 1 game, it's hard to see your team go down week in and week out when you are used to seeing dominance, but I think the HAWK has something going. What matters now is the past but the present and future. I'll continue to bleed GOLD and BLACK come hell or high water!!! GO BUFFS!!!

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adversity introduces a man to himself. Growth comes from adversity. Its about effort and honor first. With these you're already a winner. With these you will win. Winning rewards effort, grows the person and builds a program. Bandwagon riders will never understand, they ride through life rather than live it.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for "taking the risk" & developing Bernard. That hasn't happened. He has raw talent, but started playing organized sports in 9th grade & bounced around after that. Great potential, but needs the reps. He will seize this opportunity & get better each week. Every wide receiver says that he has the best arm. 9 in the box won't work much longer

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Band Member said...

The band is behind you and your team, no matter what.

GO buffs beat those tigers!!

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's my pads coach. I bleed black and gold. Put me in!!

8:17 PM  
Anonymous steepdeepnlong said...

Anyone who doubts what the Hawkins approach can do, look at Boise State right now. They have a shot at a BCS Bowl this year, and that is the program that Hawkins built. Forget this year's record. Wait'll you see what he does with players he recruited!

Go Buffs!

1:36 AM  
Blogger Boisest219 said...

Win a National championship? Ya right, when the team does turn around and once again gains national respect.Old Coach Hawk there will jump ship ship to go to the next big thing. Don't set your hopes too high with ol' Hawk.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its pretty obvious Boise State was good because of Peterson not Hawk

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Hawkins is not experienced or talented enough to coach in a tough conference like the Big X or the Big XII. The problem is that an equally inexperienced and intellectually challenged athletic director, Mike Bohn, didn’t do his homework before hiring Dan Hawkins. Mike just though the W column spoke for itself.

Yes, Boise State had an impressive win history under Dan Hawkins but this win history was made in the WAC playing near 1AA teams that the Buffs, or ay Big XII Team, would usually look past (New Mexico state, Wyoming, etc.) The unfortunate reality is that CU won't own up to this mistake for at least a few more years. By then, Old Dan (aka Spud Man and/or Roy Orbison) will laugh himself to the bank. What’s up with those idiotic sunglasses anyway? Maybe Hawk needs to remove those apparently rose tinted glasses and take stock of his 0-6 record.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I were a recruit, (especially a quarterback) I would not go to Boulder
Hawkins talks a game and in the end does like everyone else and chooses what is best for him and his. Hawkins had me thinking he was an exception to the norm, he did some great things at Boise - he involved almost all the players in the game and the TEAM was real good (without focus on superstars).
In the end it was about money and what is best for him and his. No loyalty; Hawkins had offers sooner, but stayed in Boise for his son to stay in the local Private High school where he was having football success. We thought the son was going to be force fed to us at Boise Sate.

When the supporting cast is in place, the son will be playing in Boulder. What intelligent QB would come to compete with the coaches son.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:03 AM  
Blogger scott971b said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is clear now (after last night's Boise State win in the Fiesta Bowl) that Dan Hawkins was not behind the Bronco's success. Most people in Boise know this, but we are hoping that Chris Peterson finally gets the credit he deserves - the several years of BSU success (since he became an assistant). Hawkins is full of himself and has taken credit over the years for the contributions of others. Colorado will soon realize(if they haven't already) that Hawkins can talk a good game, but can't deliver (in the absense of key staff). Too bad his son didn't select Boise State, although his head is as big as his Dad's. Peterson would have taught him some much needed humility. Hawkins should stop while his is a head and become a motivational speaker. He can live off the success others provided for him for several years - and, continue to be a legend in his own mind.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



4:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This program was on it's way down long before Coach Hawkins came on board. Say what you want about Peterson at Boise deserving the credit for their success but who brought and kept Peterson on board?
Give Coach a chance to rebuild this proud program. I was at CU back in the mid 80's when it was a joke and the there was a guy named McCartney nobody believed in either....Stay Tuned !!


9:43 PM  
Blogger mebufffan said...

I agree...give coach a chance. He blew off a little steam today....nice to see a little passion in today's P.C world. Anyway's the secret to success in college football, other than sound coaching, is recruiting. During the early 90's hey day we would clean up in So. Cal. Coach Hawk should have his boys on Coach Carroll's trail. Some of S.C's table scraps may be just what we need to rebuild this program!!

Keep the Faith!! Go Coach Dan!! GO BUFFS!!

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get ragged on quite a bit for being a Buff fan in Ohio State country, but I still think that Hawkins deserves another season before I start to really doubt. I'd like to see 5 wins next year and continued success on the recruiting trail. We got some pretty good recruits this year for going 2-10 and I'd like to see more of that.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

Go Boise State. I attended from 81-84. Markus Koch was my roommate. You missed the big one, but your time will come. Art Valero has made it from your team in '81. I remember you. Keep driving on, never say die!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coach Hawkins - With all due respect, it was a mistake to make your son the starting QB. He seems like a great kid, but it has created so much ill-will toward the program it just wasn't worth it. Too many longtime Buff fans think you have moved Cody ahead of other more qualified kids in order to promote your son.

10:32 AM  
Blogger battlerifleman said...

Hawk, I was more than willing, as were most Buff fans, to give you a chance when you were hired. You have proven yourself to be nothing but a big talker incapable of winning on the road or even putting together a string of back to back wins. You have recruited well but squandered it all. It would be best for the team and the University if you would resign and scrap your undeserved buyout. Serious mistake by Bohn. But of course you will never get a job like this again so I can certainly understand why you would be unwilling to do what is best for the team, fans, and the school. You have always been more focused on what is best for YOUR family, haven't you?

12:40 PM  
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