University of Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn confirmed Thursday morning that head football coach Dan Hawkins will continue to coach the Buffaloes and return for his fifth season in 2010.
With questions about Hawkins' future mounting from CU supporters, the media and the public related to CU's 3-8 record this season, Bohn wanted to end speculation and reiterate what he has maintained all along: that Hawkins is and will remain CU's coach.
CU-Boulder Chancellor Dr. Philip DiStefano and Bohn informed the team after Thursday morning's walkthrough practice of their coach's status to quell their concerns.
"Dan is our coach," said Bohn. "We continue to have candid, constructive discussions with each other, with campus leadership and with related constituents to review all aspects of the football program. We recognize the importance of continuity to reach our desired competitive results. We have made progress on many fronts, but fully realize the importance of improvement and growth of the program in all areas."
DiStefano agreed and confirmed he supports Bohn's decision.
"I want all CU fans, supporters, and members of the University community to know that I support Athletic Director Mike Bohn's decision to honor coach Hawkins' contract and believe this decision is in the best interests of the University of Colorado at Boulder," DiStefano said.
"Dan represents the university's values on and off the field, and his team has been competitive this year," DiStefano continued. "He has done all that we have asked him to do, and although we all desire more victories, we also recognize starting over with a new coach right now takes us away from, not closer to, our goals for CU football. Our immediate task is to support Dan and the team as they take on our rivals from Nebraska, then to have a great recruiting season, and ultimately to put a team on the field that will return CU football to greatness."
Bohn said for Hawkins to achieve success, it is vital for the CU community, fans and Buff supporters to rally around the coach, the players and the program.
"During this challenging time, it is essential for our collective fan base to stay with the program," Bohn said. "We all play a role in building the program on different levels. History has proven that our program is at its best we channel collective passion, competitiveness, and hard work in the same direction."
Hawkins' contract with CU runs through the 2012 season; he originally signed a five-year agreement when hired prior to the 2006 season, and received an extension in October 2008 after a good start to the year before injuries took their toll and earning a bowl berth the previous season.
While Colorado is 3-8 this year, three of the losses were by seven points or less, with two others, both on the road at West Virginia and No. 2 Texas, games where the Buffs were most competitive into the fourth quarter. The Buffs close out the season Friday against Nebraska, with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m. at Folsom Field. The game is close to selling out, with just 700 tickets remaining at the close of business Wednesday.