It isn’t coincidence.
On Sept. 2, McCartney did everything but say he wanted Hawkins’ job in a column by Mark Kiszla of the DENVER POST. A selection of his quotes:
“A football coach is a football coach. I’ve been out of it 15 years, and it never goes away. I think maybe I can still do it. I think like a football coach. I smell like one. I never stopped missing football. If the game is in your blood, it never passes you by.”
Of being 70-years-old, McCartney added, “You know, my mom is 100. So the genes are good.”
Kiszla, who early in his piece noted that McCartney still lives near Boulder, wasn’t nearly as shy in making his intentions known, writing: “If the team truly wanted to win, the decision would be a no-brainer. Hiring Coach Mac would be a bonanza.“
Two weeks later, Denver Post columnist and ESPN Around the Horn commentator Woody Paige wrote of Hawkins’ untenable position: “Forget Paul McCartney and Wings. Think about Bill McCartney waiting in the wings.”
The same week Mark Knudson of DenverDailyNews.com wrote of McCartney’s desire to return to CU: “A source very close to the situation told me recently that McCartney absolutely wants back in.”
This week Rivals.com national college football writer Tom Dienhart wrote on Twitter, “I am hearing buzz that Bill McCartney could be a coaching option at Colorado if Dan Hawkins doesn’t finish the season.”
Today, I spoke to a prominent college football media member who knows McCartney and confirmed to me that the coach has indeed made known his interest in returning to CU in a prominent capacity - as head football coach or in the athletic administration.
More specifically, I was told that McCartney would consider taking over for Hawkins in an interim capacity if CU made a change during this season - and eventually hand over the reins to a younger coaching candidate in the future.
I was also told that McCartney has been inspired by 69-year-old Bill Snyder, who recently returned as Kansas State football coach after the program ran aground under Ron Prince.
Though 2-1 to start the season, Hawkins’ Buffaloes were embarrassed 52-7 at Cal on Sept. 11 and next face Georgia and Missouri. Two similarly disastrous results and we may indeed see a reprise of the coach who oversaw Colorado’s finest football hour.