Hawkins brings four Boise St. assistants to Colorado

Updated: January 19, 2006, 8:43 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- New Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins' coaching staff includes four members of his staff at Boise State and two holdovers from Gary Barnett's staff.

Hawkins was hired Dec. 16 after compiling a 53-11 mark in five seasons at Boise State. He replaced Barnett, who received a $3 million buyout to walk away after his seven-year stay in Boulder.

Hawkins retained Brian Cabral, who will coach the Buffs' linebackers for the 17th season this fall, and Darian Hagan, who moves from offensive assistant working mainly with receivers to running backs coach. Cabral was Barnett's assistant head coach but will serve as Hawkins' recruiting coordinator.

The four coaches accompanying Hawkins from Boise State are:
-- Ron Collins, defensive coordinator.
-- Chris Strausser, assistant head coach/offensive line.
-- Romeo Bandison, defensive line.
-- Kent Riddle, tight ends, special teams coordinator.

Collins will oversee the defense but won't coach a position as he did at Boise State (linebackers).

Hawkins also hired Mark Helfrich, quarterbacks coach at Arizona State, to be his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. At 32, he is one of the youngest coordinators in the nation. Eric Kiesau, wide receivers coach at Cal, will coach receivers at Colorado.

Veteran NFL assistant Greg Brown will coach the secondary. He also was on the Buffs' coaching staff from 1991-93.

"Defensively, Colorado was very good last year," Hawkins said in a statement. "Looking at what our guys have done at Boise, always having been one of the top ranked rushing defenses, and that being a strength at Colorado, we can continue to build on that. I'm not a big stats guy but if you do look statistically over the course of the last five years, on offense we have the elements of three very explosive offenses in Arizona State, California and Boise State.

"Plus, there's NFL experience, and with two former Buffs and Greg Brown, those provide ties to the Coach [Bill] McCartney era, which I think is important," Hawkins said. "We're moving forward but always appreciate the past."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press