Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hawkins reminds me of Gerry Faust

I was thinking earlier today coach Hawkins tenure at the University of Colorado reminds me of the Gerry Faust era at Notre Dame. Tonight I checked out wikipedia on Faust and read this:

"It was his amazing record, sound ethics and the quality football players from Moeller who later played at Notre Dame, that led Notre Dame officials to take a calculated gamble and hire him when Dan Devine stepped down after the 1980 season. For Faust, a devout Roman Catholic, it was a dream come true. He had coveted the head coaching job at Notre Dame for years and said all along that he would never leave Moeller for anything else. Faust inherited a solid squad that included nine of his former players from Moeller. He switched the team's home jerseys from green back to blue, although initially it was a lighter Madonna blue shade than the navy blue that had been previously worn (and returned to in 1984), and kept the player's names on the backs. A self-proclaimed eternal optimist brimming with enthusiasm, Faust had visions of winning more games and national championships and coaching at Notre Dame longer than anyone else. Then when he saw Notre Dame's schedule, he was quoted as saying, "I hope my lifelong dream doesn't end in a nightmare." Sadly, it proved to be a prophetic statement and his era at Notre Dame, initially referred to as "The Bold Experiment"[1], fell far short of living up to expectations."

Faust's Notre Dame tenure started on a high note with a 27-9 victory over LSU in the 1981 season opener, one of the most widely anticipated games in school history. After top-ranked Michigan lost to Wisconsin on that same day, Notre Dame was voted #1 in the polls. The success was short-lived, however, as Michigan defeated Notre Dame the following week, 25-7. It was all downhill after that as the Irish finished 5-6 that year, their first losing season since 1963. Faust would end his stint at Notre Dame with a 30-26-1 record, never winning more than seven games in one season and never coming even close to contending for a national title. This included four consecutive losses against Air Force, whom the Irish had never lost to prior to 1982. Despite his mediocre record and growing discontent among Irish fans, Faust was allowed to remain at Notre Dame for the entire duration of his five-year contract."

Comparisons to Hawk:

eternal optimist in over his head as a division 1 football coach

Faust had 1 big win early in his tenure (LSU 81). Hawk had his big win over Oklahoma

Repeated losses to teams far less talented. I remember the Faust losses to air force in the 80's - notre dame was solidly outcoached each game. Hawk's losses to csu toledo, montana state and near loss to Eastern Washington last year are similar.

What happened to Faust? He was canned at Notre Dame, unsuccessful and eventually fired at Akron. Today "Faust lives in Fairlawn, Ohio, a suburb of Akron; he now works as a motivational speaker."

That's the job for Hawk - motivational speaker - not division 1 football coach.

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