Steamboat Springs The questions came from every corner of the room, and from all types of people.
They wanted to know how the coach felt about the bowl system, how he measured the character of his players, his best moments as a Buff - and his worst. There were questions about recruiting, the team's philosophy and the no-huddle offense.
There were times Tuesday night when University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins resembled a Colorado Rockies infielder taking questions from the audience as if they were hard-hit grounders. And he fielded them all with the confidence of a shortstop like Troy Tulowitzki.
By the end of the afternoon, it seemed the coach had won the hearts of the crowd of more than 30 people who showed up at Howelsen Hill's Olympian Hall to see him, and that he had sparked, or at least maintained, a excitement and belief in University of Colorado football and the direction it's headed. Tuesday's visit was part of the Hawk Talk Tour in which Hawkins is touring cities across the state to meet with residents.
"This tour has been great for me," Hawkins said. "I've been able to get around the state, and I love coming to Steamboat Springs."
He said by speaking in front of crowds like the one in Steamboat Springs, he is able to make the university accessible to the people of the state and take advantage of the chance to let everyone know the positive influence the university has within the state.
The Hawk Talk Tour has made stops at Fort Morgan, Pueblo, Iliff, Denver and Berthoud.
"I want to let people know about Colorado football and what we are doing. I want to keep everyone in our state in the loop," Hawkins said.
But Hawkins wasn't the only coach at Tuesday night's gathering. CU Alpine skiing coach Richard Rokos took the opportunity to address a community that has supported his program several times in the past several years by hosting events, and there were several current CU athletes and Steamboat residents in the audience, including defensive back Joel Adams and skier Drew Roberts.
Roberts is part of a large group of Steamboat Springs skiers currently with the CU program. Hometown skiers Lisa Perricone, Heidi Hillenbrand and Tony Cesolini are all Buffaloes. The Buffs ranks also include Pat Duran and Josh Bryan, who trained in Steamboat Springs as part of the Winter Sports Club's post-graduate program.
"This is really my chance to say 'thank you' to the community," Rokos said. "I don't come here to recruit - this is a chance to show the people in this community how much the university appreciates their support and everything they do for our program."