CU Buffs fire Dorrell, ending disastrous tenure in Boulder

Oct 2, 2022, 1:33 PM | Updated: 2:23 pm
Karl Dorrell...
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Colorado Buffaloes are finally ending things with third-year head coach Karl Dorrell; ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported that the university is dismissing the 58-year-old head coach and it was confirmed by the school later.

The Buffs are off to an 0-5 start to the season, losing by more than three touchdowns in every single game. Dorrell, who was last a wide receivers coach for the Dolphins, went 8-15 while leading CU. In the COVID-impacted 2020 season, Dorrell coached the Buffs to a 4-2 record, good enough for just their second bowl trip in the last 15 seasons. CU and in-state rival Colorado State, who are 0-4, are the only remaining winless teams in D1’s FBS.

Dorrell’s buyout will roughly cost CU-Boulder $8 million as he was signed through the 2024 season.

Athletic Director Rick George—who made the hire to replace Mel Tucker, who he also hired—liked Dorrell for his past ties to Boulder, where he had been an assistant for CU. George also said Dorrell’s ties to the community, looking to buy a house in Boulder, made him an attractive candidate. But Dorrell had only spent one of the last dozen years at the college level after being dismissed from UCLA, who he led to a few bowl games.

While the Buffs begin a search for their next head coach, first-year offensive coordinator Mike Sanford will be the new leader. The Buffaloes have a bye week this weekend before hosting California at Folsom Field on Oct. 15.

The Buffaloes are hitting new program low marks, and it’ll be up to Sanford to keep them from a first-ever winless season in 121 years of football.

Colorado also ousted their defensive coordinator Chris Wilson. Wilson is owed $600,000 for 2023 and nine of the Buffs 10 assistants are on multi-year deals meaning more buyouts for a new staff could be coming. This is the third coaching search for the Buffs in just over four years.

As pointed out by the BuffZone, there are four current players who would play for four different full-time and six diffrent head coaches if they decide to return in 2023.


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CU Buffs fire Dorrell, ending disastrous tenure in Boulder