***First off, mark your calendars for two events, Hawkins said. One you know about is Aug. 10, the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Trojan Arena. Hawkins also said that a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Trojan Arena would be on the Saturday afternoon of the UL-Lafayette home game on Sept. 8. It'll be a deal where everyone can walk in and get a good look at the arena. Troy will send out an announcement closer to time, I'm sure.
***Hawkins said Dennis called him on Monday and wanted to come up to his Montgomery office to talk to him. Hawkins was surprised it turned out to be a resignation.
"He told me he had given it a lot of thought and he felt like he needed to make this change in his life. It caught me by surprise," Hawkins said. "I’ve been around a lot of honorable people in my life and none with any more integrity, character and class than Steve Dennis."
"It’s adequate to say he was looking for a new challenge, and this was his way of offering that. In his heart, Steve is a coach. He’s a great role model for young men. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he gravitated toward his first love."
With Dennis staying on board until Sept. 30, there really is no need for an interim athletics director unless Dennis gets an opportunity long before then that causes him to have to leave. Make no mistake about it, the search for Dennis' replacement is underway.
"There is no pre-forged deal," Hawkins said. "We will look for the best leadership we can find. We’re on the fast track and we won’t drag our feet. There are too many big things to be done within that athletic department. You better have your roller skates on when you go to that job."
Hawkins mentioned character, integrity, good fiscal management, great speaking ability and entrepreneurship as candidates for Dennis' successor. He mentioned how Troy's athletic budget is less than $20 million, which doesn't quite compare to the Ohio State and Texas of the world.
"Entrepreneurship is at the cornerstone of being a good athletic director," Hawkins said. "You’re always looking for new ways to do it. At Troy, we spend wisely. You have to be a good fundraiser.
"We’re looking for a superman or a superwoman to succeed a gentleman I would call a superman. We won’t restrict anyone’s application. We’re not concerned about gender or race, height or weight. We want to find the best leader we can find."