But the religious and soulful Hawkins is committed to seeing his four children grow up in the area, which makes his story even more intriguing. Two daughters are in college. Sons Cody, 17, and Drew, 15, are still in high school. With all the frustrations, there are worse places to be.
"The reason that he has garnered a lot of admiration in Boise is that he's not full of himself," said Bob Evancho, who is writing a book with Hawkins. "He's got kind of a healthy perspective on other aspects."
Hawkins likes to quote Sun Tzu, Crazy Horse, Mother Theresa and the likes of musicians Jerry Jeff Walker and Van Morrison. His office is littered with books from great philosophers. An Xs and Os book (tentatively titled Hawk), this is not.
Evancho, a university relations staffer, compares it more to Jackson's book Sacred Hoops, with musings on life and football. Try to think of another I-A coach who will to go that deep in his soul to pump out a book. Quotable Joe (Paterno), it isn't.
"I do think that sometimes we think we could never be like Tiger Woods or Ghandi or Martin Luther King," Hawkins said. "The reality is when you get down to it, they were ordinary people that responded extraordinarily in certain circumstances. We're all capable of that if we're able to maintain the vision and the passion."
As for observations having a tangible effect on players, Hawkins said it's more of an overall philosophy.
"You can wear it out if they say, 'Oh, here comes the philosophical message for the day,' he said. "One thing I always tell them is they need to be abnormal. You've got to be abnormal if you want to get where you want to go in life."
Maybe that's why the trip to Georgia makes sense. Boise State's two other trips to SEC venues under Hawkins resulted in a combined 73-27 losing margin against Arkansas and South Carolina. The risk is great but the reward for an emerging program is even greater.
"We always try to not put self-limiting thoughts on ourselves and shoot for the stars," Hawkins said. "I don't think you can get caught up in a whole bunch of that other stuff, otherwise you're neurotic."
Notre Dame loses a classy coach
A year ago, then-Mississippi coach David Cutcliffe underwent a heart exam. Everything looked fine -- except his future. Cutcliffe couldn't have foreseen being fired after the 2004 season, then undergoing a triple heart bypass in March.
It was all too much for one of the most respected offensive minds in college football. Charlie Weis' offensive coordinator formally left the Notre Dame staff Wednesday before coaching a practice, citing the lingering effects of the surgery.
"I'm not ready to jump back into it at this time," Cutcliffe said by phone from Oxford, Miss. where he is still rehabilitating. "I lost about 30 pounds. It's been a tough ordeal. I just want that energy level back."
Cutcliffe was seen as stud hire for Weis when the Notre Dame coach assembled his staff. His stature rose on the national level when Tennessee won the 1998 national championship with Cutcliffe as offensive coordinator. Having spent 17 years as an assistant at Tennessee and six seasons at Ole Miss, Cutcliffe had coached both Peyton and Eli Manning.
Now he is moving back to Tennessee to continue the rehab and spend time with his family.
"I think the future is a little unclear," Cutcliffe said. "When I first had the surgery I had two or three different complications that put me back in the hospital and slowed me down. You value your family more and more after these issues."
In 1999, Cutcliffe suffered acute pancreatitis and underwent the removal of his gall bladder while at Ole Miss. Since the end of the 2003 season, Cutcliffe's luck hasn't been the best. After a 10-win season under Eli Manning, the Rebels slumped to 4-7 last year. Then there was the firing after Cutcliffe reportedly refused to fire some assistants. He was 44-29 in six seasons in Oxford.
"(My recent luck) hasn't been real good," he said, "Stress had something to do with this heart problem. Anybody who has ever had it, it's a very emotional thing to go through. You're the one under the saw. I've heard people tell me it took them over a year to get back to normal. It's different for everyone."
Once fully recovered, there is no doubt that the 50-year old Cutcliffe will be back in the game. He has too much to offer. He is the main reason Eli came to Ole Miss, instead of following his brother to Tennessee. In essence, he called the plays for the best seasons at both Tennessee and Mississippi since 1997.
Meanwhile, Weis has to scramble to find a new offensive coordinator. Anticipating the possibility of Cutcliffe leaving, Weis said he has a candidate in mind. The new coordinator, he said, will have to adapt to the new offense, not install one. Three months from kickoff, it's never a good thing to have to replace the assistant head coach who is also the guy that designs the offense.