When Dan Hawkins took over at Boise State, people were lamenting the departure of Coach Dirk Koetter. He was off to Arizona State to accomplish big things in the PAC-10. In stepped Hawkins, taking over a team that had won the Big West two consecutive years. He proceeded to go 53-10 over his five-year tenure and now Hawkins has opted to go to Colorado. Offensive Coordinator Chris Petersen will take the reins from here. Petersen, one of the game's brilliant offensive minds, was responsible for Boise State leading the nation in scoring in four of the last six years.
Years from now, when we look back at all the national championships, top ten rankings, bowl wins, etc., Coach Hawk will get the credit for giving Boise State and the city of Boise the vision. He inspired players, fans and associates at the university with his optimism for the future of the Bronco football team. Hawkins said that Boise State was not that far away from winning a national championship, and he got people to believe it. After three consecutive Top 15 finishes, the team is on the verge of greatness.
Hawkins truly got the community excited about the Bronco football program. Donations came pouring in from all over. Sales of Bronco merchandise skyrocketed. Season ticket sales, which were 12,500 when he took the helm, are now over 20,000 (a number which by the way is equal to season tickets at Colorado). That's an increase of 60 percent over the five year time period. Average attendance now is over 30,000, exceeding the capacity of Bronco Stadium.
Hawk had the ability to get others to see and believe in his vision. His priorities were in using success to build facilities at Boise State that would ensure long-term success. His first priority was the expansion of the Boise State weight room, which would benefit all student-athletes. This quickly became a reality. He also wanted to build an indoor practice facility, and the structure is now operational. This facility will be a big boost to recruiting, both now and in the future. Other priorities that Hawkins called for were a new press box with club and luxury seats and the expansion of Bronco Stadium. Plans for both are well underway. Hawkins sung the value of summer school scholarships, and now Boise State is on the verge of paying for the summer school scholarship program in its entirety. He strongly believed in his assistant coaches and in getting them salary increases. In fact, he chose to forego a raise for himself, preferring to get raises for his assistants.
Hawkins was a great student of philosophy and history, and he is famous for reading some of his favorite quotes to players. Hawkrates, as the philosophical Hawkins is called, was brilliant in dealing with the media, giving quotes such as "Bigger isn't better, better is better" and "tradition doesn't graduate". Hawk may be gone, but those quotes are just as applicable today as they were yesterday. Or as Bronco Bob says, "tradition doesn't leave with the coach".
That is most appropriate in Boise State's case, where it doesn't matter who the coach is--the Broncos roar ahead. They have won at every level, capturing national championships in junior college and I-AA and bowl wins in Division II and I-A. They are the fastest school in the modern era to win 200 Division I-A games. They have won more conference championships in the last 7 years than any other school in the nation. The team that will play in the MPC Bowl against Boston College is only losing 4 starters to graduation, the lowest number of starters lost in the nation.
Thank you, Coach Hawkins for your vision and inspiration, and everything you have done for Boise State, advancing the Broncos to the elite of the college football world. We wish you luck in Boulder but know that the future is extremely bright for Boise State University with Coach Pete!