Buffs coach off to Peru | AspenTimes.com

Buffs coach off to Peru

Pat Graham
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins, right, and Air Force head football coach Troy Calhoun share a laugh during the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation's College Football Kickoff luncheon in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday, June 25, 2008. (AP Photo/The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Rich Abrahamson)
AP | Fort Collins Coloradoan

COLORADO SPRINGS ” Dan Hawkins is concerning himself this summer with malaria not Missouri, and typhus instead of Texas Tech.

The Colorado football coach is taking his family on a summer getaway to one of Peru’s top tourist destinations, Machu Picchu, and then on an excursion through the Amazon. They’re preparing for their expedition by getting all the required shots and taking the prescribed pills, even soaking their clothes in a special repellent to ward off bug bites which could lead to malaria or typhus.

The trek is an opportunity for Hawkins to forget about football for 10 days ” at least that’s the plan.

“I’ll be nervous as heck,” said Hawkins, who spoke at a football kickoff luncheon Wednesday. “I’ll be checking my cell phone every five minutes going, ‘Do you get service here? Do you get service here? … I’ll be standing at the top of Machu Picchu with some aluminum foil, up some tree.”

The plans originally had the Hawkins clan heading to Brazil, but the coach was concerned about the recent outbreak of dengue fever in Rio De Janeiro.

So, alternate arrangements were made. His wife is in charge of the itinerary, and the plans include some hiking and canoeing, along with a visit to a tropical rainforest. They’ll also hit the northern part of the Amazon.

“On one adventure, we take a little plane, go on a bus, ride some donkeys, walk and get on a canoe,” Hawkins said.

But the vacation won’t be all play and no work. Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins and his younger brother, Drew, who’ll walk on at Boise State in the fall, will bring along a football to do some throwing in the heart of the Inca Empire.

“They’ll get a little work in at 14,000 feet, see how running the steps at Machu Picchu compares to Folsom Field,” Hawkins said with a grin.

Hawkins heads into year three with Buffaloes coming off a 6-7 record that included an invitation to the Independence Bowl, where they lost, 30-24, to Alabama.

Cody Hawkins is back at the helm after setting every major Colorado freshman passing record last season, and top-rated tailback Darrell Scott will soon be arriving on campus, ready to battle for the starting job.

Expectations are high in Boulder, a thought that makes Dan Hawkins cringe.

“We still have to keep paddling and paddling hard,” said Hawkins, whose team will report August 4. “Yeah, there was some growth there.”

But Hawkins said it’s naive to assume that because the team won two games in 2006, then six the next season, that now they’re going to win eight or nine.

“That’s not the way any of us needs to be thinking,” he said.

He won’t be thinking about much of anything while he’s on vacation ” in theory.

“My wife would like me to leave [my cell phone] home,” Hawkins said. “But it makes me nervous. I always say when you’re head coach or a director of anything, you never truly go on vacation. It always sits there on the back of your neck.”

“To some degree, you relax and you’re into it,” he continued. “But every 100 feet up the mountain, you’re going, ‘I wonder how he’s doing in school? I wonder if he’s throwing today? I wonder how his wrist is doing?”‘