The 40-year old coach began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of California Davis as the linebacker coach. After a three year stint with his alma mater, Hawkins moved down a level and served as the head coach at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento from 1986-1987.
Hawkins stayed in California and became the offensive coordinator at the College of the Siskiyous in 1988. In his last year with the Siskiyous, Hawkins helped the team win the Golden Valley Conference championship in 1991.
The coach was then hired by Sonoma State University in 1992 as their defensive coordinator.
Hawkins would only stay only one year at Sonoma State before moving to the Northwest to coach at Willamette. During his tenure as head coach at Willamette from 1993-1997, Hawkins complied at 40-11-1 record.
Hawkins also helped guide Willamette to a co-conference championship in 1995 and the outright conference championship in 1996. Following Hawkins successful campaigns in '95 and '96, he helped Willamette make it to the NAIA Championship in 1997.
After winning 77 percent of his games as head coach at Willamette, Hawkins was courted by Boise State.
The successful coach started his career with Boise State in 1998 as their tight ends coach.
From 1998-2000, Hawkins served as the Broncos tight end coach. Throughout his three year tight end coaching job, Hawkins molded a tight end every year that earned post season honors.
Following his successful stint as the tight-ends coach at BSU, Hawkins was hired as the Bronco head coach in 2001.
During his first season, the football team posted a 8-4 record and a second place finish in the WAC. Hawkin's second season as head coach was wildly successful as he lead the team to a #16 national ranking, an 11-1 season, 8-0 in conference play, and a 34-16 victory over Iowa State in the Humanitarin bowl.
The 2002 football squad set several school and league records including their highest ranking in school history, the first team to go undefeated in the WAC since BYU in 1996, and the highest margin of victory in the WAC history at 37.2 points per game.
Since his arrival in Boise, Hawkins has helped the Broncos compile a 45-15 record, a 75 percent winning percentage. The football team has also won three conference championships, two in the Big West in 1999 and 2000, and one in the WAC in 2002.
BeaverFootball.com comment: Dan Hawkins would certainly bring an exciting game plan to Corvallis, but he may not be willing to leave Boise State for the Beavers.