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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Bowden's staying power still impresses Hawkins

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The longevity of Florida State coach Bobby Bowden amazes Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, who has marveled at Bowden's longevity over the years.

Bowden will be directing his 500th game as a college coach Saturday against the Buffaloes at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

"I think if you added up every basketball, baseball, softball, rec. league, every game I have ever been in, I think it would probably add up to about 300. It's an amazing feat," Hawkins said. "I'm one of those guys who never says never, but I think as the years go on, you're going to see that become very hard to do anymore, I really do."

The changing nature of college football is the major reason why Hawkins doesn't think many coaches will duplicate the extended careers of Bowden and Penn State coach Joe Paterno.

"Eventually, people get tired of your offense, they get tired of your recruiting, they get tired of your press conferences," Hawkins said. "That's just the nature of our society. It's not enough anymore.

"I've joked how [Broadway presentation] 'Cats' got canceled, they took 'M*A*S*H*' off the air. Things get old in a hurry and people aren't comfortable with things staying the same. That's why I don't think you're going to see a head coach around for 30 or 35 years at the same school. People just get tired of it."

Hawkins still remembers the first time he ever met Bowden on a Nike cruise in Aruba shortly after he had taken over the Boise State job.

"We were on the boat and I was looking around. I saw Bobby and he told me  'What are you looking at?' I told him I was looking around at all of these guys wondering what the heck I was doing there," Hawkins said. "He told me I was 'one of the guys' now."

The realization still is a defining career moment for Hawkins, who jokes that he felt like he finally made it after riding on the boat with the other coaching legends.   

"Maybe I was supposed to be scrubbing the deck or something, I don't know," Hawkins said, chuckling.