Dan Hawkins fired: Can a Bill McCartney-Dave Logan coach-in-waiting plan save CU Buffs?

The firing of CU Buffs coach Dan Hawkins belatedly became official yesterday, with Hawkins showing up in person to essentially bury himself. But even as Twitter Nation tweeted about Hawkins getting the sack, long-suffering CU fans began to fixate on who can put this broken program back together again. Two of the biggest name mentioned are Bill McCartney and Dave Logan, who both have their negatives. But what about a package deal? McCartney, of course, is the man who brought CU to national glory, guiding the squad to a national championship in 1990. But he hasn't coached since 1994, and it's safe to say the game's changed just a leetle since then. Plus, he's seventy years old -- an age at which many coaches began fantasizing about deepening their relationship with the family recliner.

Logan, for his part, is a legendary CU player who went on to a respectable pro career before establishing himself as a local media personality, via KOA radio and his announcing duties for the Denver Broncos among other things, as well as a formidable high school coach at Mullen. This last gig directly equates to CU. While Mullen insists that it doesn't recruit (yeah, sure), Logan somehow happens to lure many of the best players from the area to compete under his tutelage year after year. Given how bad CU has been when it comes to in-state recruiting -- or any recruiting, for that matter -- Logan's skill in this area shouldn't be dismissed. But, as his detractors point out, he's never coached at the college level.

One potential solution: Hire McCartney as head coach and Logan as his primary assistant, so that when the Promise Keepers founder decides he's had enough, Logan will have the college-coaching experience he currently lacks and can transition into the main job smoothly.

There are drawbacks to this approach, as demonstrated by the catastrophe in Dallas, where coach-in-waiting Jason Garrett has finally been elevated to the top post following the booting of ex-Broncos head man Wade Phillips -- but the circumstances there are so dire that Garrett may not be able to hang onto the gig long-term. Still, plenty of CU fans see the wisdom in such a dual hire, as noted in today's Denver Post piece about the coaching search.

Problem is, CU athletic director Mike Bohn seems cool to the prospect. Yesterday, he said, "I'm not saying we wouldn't do it, but it doesn't appear to make a lot of sense for us at this point... We want an established person in charge."

Bohn's reticence is understandable. But given the protracted agony that was the Hawkins era, CU needs a PR win right now -- and bringing aboard both McCartney and Logan would provide one. Moreover, Logan's presence would blunt, if not eliminate, criticism that CU is looking backwards by reaching out to an eager McCartney when it should be taking a step toward the future.

Below, check out various highlights from yesterday's news conference courtesy of the Boulder Daily Camera -- remarks from Dan Hawkins, Mike Bohn and quarterback Cody Hawkins, who comes across in very impressive fashion. If he could have played under pressure as well as he speaks, his dad might still have a job...

More from our Sports archive: "Dan Hawkins keeps his job -- and CU loses credibility to save money."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts