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Candidates Starting To Emerge In The Hunt For Dan Hawkins' Replacement

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We are now 24 hours past a frantic night that saw news of Dan Hawkins' dismissal as head coach of the University of Colorado. Media and fans alike have written their obituaries on the Hawkins regime and they are ready to move on and start speculating on how might emerge as the next head coach of the University of Colorado. 

Current interim head coach Brian Cabral made it known today that he is "interested" in taking over the position permanently, but his focus is going to be on winning Colorado's last three games.

Before taking questions, Cabral said he did not want to talk about the past.

Cabral was very emotional when talking about the players and the assistant coaches.

"I'm looking forward. I'm not looking back," he said.

When asked if he would like to be the CU coach full-time, his answer was just "Yes, sir."

Most of the talk around possible candidates has centered around those with connections to the Buffaloes program, mainly centered around former coach Bill McCartney and current Vikings position coach and former Buff Eric Bienemy. Many have speculated the McCartney could be brought on to shepherd a coordinator (possibly Bienemy) who would be designated a "coach-in-waiting" and would take over the program in a season or two. However, athletic director Mike Bohn made it clear that they are looking for candidates for the long term.

Former CU coach Bill McCartney, 70, will be a candidate to succeed Hawkins. But, Bohn told The Denver Post today that he's not interested in hiring a coach who would groom his heir apparent.

"I wouldn't say we wouldn't do it, but it doesn't appear to make a lot of sense for us at this point," Bohn said. "We want to establish one person in charge. It's important that the person is set up in a leadership role."

Other candidates have rumored to include former Oregon coach Mike Belotti, Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, and a lovely group of coaches from the SEC, including the Mad Hatter himself:

Other names floating around include Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and LSU coach Les Miles although it looks unlikely that LSU would part with Miles after last weekend's win over Alabama.