Already familiar with the thrill of victory at the International Federation of American Football World Championship, Cody Hawkins is ready to experience the tournament from a new perspective.
With Hawkins at quarterback, the U.S. team was dominant at the 2011 IFAF event in Austria, outscoring its opponents, 176-21, in four games, including a 50-7 rout of Canada in the championship game.
Hawkins, who came to the U.S. National Team after four years at the University of Colorado, still speaks glowingly of the opportunity to represent his country in the sport he loves.
“I have said to anyone who will listen that playing on the U.S. team was the greatest opportunity
I have ever had,” he said. “That one month I spent with USA Football has shaped my life more than any experience I’ve ever had.”
Though he won’t be under center, Hawkins again will have a prominent role in the upcoming games, where the American team will attempt to claim a third-consecutive IFAF title. Joining a staff led by his father, Dan, Cody will serve as the team’s quarterbacks coach for the event July 9-18 in Canton, Ohio.
This won’t be the first time Dan and Cody Hawkins have worked together. Their on-field relationship began in Boulder, where Dan served as Colorado’s head coach during Cody’s time as the Buffaloes’ quarterback. The duo also worked together overseas on a staff of a future stars team in Australia.
Calling his son “a ball of positive energy,” Dan Hawkins said he and Cody have never had difficulty separating their personal and professional relationships, primarily because he’s never approached their situation with a boss mentality.
“Someone is always in charge, but a leader should be a positive motivator and visionary, just like a great dad,” Dan Hawkins said. “We know what the boundaries are when it comes to football. Cody also has no problem taking orders or being accountable for performance.”
Cody Hawkins also has found success on his own. His most significant coaching stop came last fall, when he served as a graduate assistant with 2014 national champion Ohio State.
And while he enjoyed his time with the Buckeyes, Cody said he prefers working at the high school level, which gives him a chance to develop players more than he would at a major collegiate program. Past stops include being quarterback coach at his alma mater, Bishop Kelly High School in Idaho.
For now, though, Cody Hawkins’ mind is set on helping the U.S. bring home another IFAF championship while continuing to spread the game around the world.
Though seen by many as an American-exclusive game, Hawkins said awareness of football is rising in other parts of the world, something he saw first-hand during his time in Europe and Australia. Confident he will see the sport played in the Olympics in his lifetime, Hawkins is happy to have a role in giving football an even greater global presence.
“Athletics have always been a way to bridge the global divide, but football has the power (to) facilitate teamwork, communication, perseverance and development unlike any other form of sport,” he said. “The opportunities that football can provide are vast, and by pushing the development of this great game, we can (give) great opportunities to many athletes around the globe to become more than they ever thought they could, athletically, personally and professionally.”