Boulder, Colo. — Defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz was named the interim replacement for ousted Colorado football coach Gary Barnett on Friday and will lead the team against Clemson in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 27. Hankwitz was defensive coordinator at Kansas University in 1995 and 1996 under Glen Mason.
Barnett resigned Thursday at the request of athletic director Mike Bohn.
"(Hankwitz) possesses great experience in this profession, and his organizational skills, discipline and competitive spirit will be a great asset in preparing the team for the bowl," Bohn said. "We are most appreciative of his willingness to take on this leadership role."
Hankwitz, 57, is in his second stint with the Buffs. Barnett named him defensive coordinator before last season. Hankwitz also coached with Colorado from 1985 through '94.
After that, he spent time at Kansas, Texas A&M and Arizona before returning to CU.
Hankwitz said a top priority was getting the Buffaloes back to the level of play they displayed before going on a three-game losing streak, when they've been outscored 130-22.
"We were a team that was playing like a top-20 team at one point this year, and the challenge is to try and get them to play that way again," Hankwitz said in a statement. "We have to figure out a way to get that back."
Hankwitz told Denver station KUSA-TV that high school players were scheduled to make recruiting visits this weekend to Boulder, but CU officials felt it was unfair for them to use one of their allowed visits when CU had no head coach.