Colorado fired coach Karl Dorrell on Sunday after a 5-0 start to the 2022 season. The Buffaloes are 4-13 since the start of the 2021 season after losing 43-20 to Arizona on Saturday.
“I want to thank Karl for his hard work leading our program since 2020,” said Colorado athletic director Rick George. “Ultimately, the results on the pitch just didn’t live up to our expectations and standards, which necessitated this change at that point. It was an extremely difficult decision and I wish Karl all the best in his future endeavours.”
Dorrell was in his third season in Colorado. Saturday’s loss was the sixth installment of the program from 2021. Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson was also fired on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Mike Samford will serve as interim coach.
Dorrell was hired from Colorado after Mel Tucker left for Michigan State in early 2020, and took over in February of that year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the Pac-12 first postpone its season but then reverse course and have one shortened campaign played. Dorrell had a lot of experience as a college coach at the time. He spent five years coaching UCLA from 2003-2007 and had several stints as an assistant to the Colorado team at Boulder.
Outside of a 2014 season as offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt, Dorrell had spent 11 of the previous 12 seasons as an NFL-level coach.
Despite the lengthy absence from collegiate play, his freshman season with the Buffaloes went well. Colorado finished second in the Pac-12 South, 4-2, and advanced to the Alamo Bowl. The past two seasons have not been nearly as successful, however, as the Buffaloes fell back to 4-8 last year before starting the 2022 season with five straight losses.
Dorrell’s contract in Colorado ran through the 2024 season, with the program owing him approximately $8.5 million in buyout monies. He ends his tenure in Colorado with an overall score of 8-15, 6-9 in the Pac-12 game.
The team’s five losses in 2022 averaged 29.8 points per game. Colorado’s 23-point loss to Arizona was the lowest loss it has suffered in a game this season.
Dorrell’s replacement will be the fifth coach Colorado has hired since the 2010 season.