The University of Colorado has finalized a separation agreement with former football coach Dan Hawkins and has agreed to pay him more than $2.1 million to cover the guaranteed compensation portions of his contract.

Hawkins had two years and two months remaining on his contract when he was fired last month. The school would have paid him at least $2.8 million in guaranteed compensation had he remained the coach through the full contract, which would have expired Jan. 31, 2013.

CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said no taxpayer or tuition money is used in paying the settlement of $2,142,571.33. Instead the money comes from athletic department revenues taken from TV, radio, and sponsorship contributions such as Nike.

The agreement indicates that Hawkins' nine assistant coaches, four operations assistants and head strength and conditioning coach will be paid through Feb. 1, 2011. Unless they are retained by the next coaching staff, those coaches and staffers will no longer be employed by the school on Feb. 2.

It's possible Colorado could have another separation agreement to work out with offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau. The school offered a multi-year deal to Kiesau in spring 2009 when he was offered a job at Oregon. That offseason CU lost two assistant coaches to other schools and three others were offered positions elsewhere including Kiesau.

Kiesau is paid approximately $220,000 annually and is under contract through the 2011 season.


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Hawkins was considered one of the hottest up-and-coming head coaches in the nation in 2005 when Colorado hired him from Boise State to replace fired coach Gary Barnett. But Hawkins never produced consistent success or a winning season and began to fall out of favor with fans several years into his tenure.

Citing the negativity around Hawkins, athletic director Mike Bohn fired the coach a few days shy of his 50th birthday last month following a loss at Kansas in which the Buffs gave up 35-unanswered points and blew a 28-point fourth quarter lead.