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Colorado Buffaloes fire Karl Dorrell after winless start in 2022

Buffs move on after terrible start with hope of once again rebuilding

NCAA Football: UCLA at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado fired head football coach Karl Dorrell and defensive coordinator Chris Wilson on Sunday, one day after a 43-20 road loss to Arizona. The Buffs started the season winless at 0-5, and are in the midst of one of the worst periods in school history.

Dorrell was hired in 2020 after the departure of Mel Tucker to Michigan State. He rattled off four straight wins to open the COVID-shortened season, but ended with a 4-2 record after a 55-23 Cotton Bowl loss to Texas. The 2020 Pac-12 Coach of the Year went 4-13 over the past seasons and lost the last six games by an average of 27 points.

The Buffs ultimate struggles have come offensively and haven’t surpassed the 20-point mark over the past eight games. Dorrell’s dismissal comes with pressure after Colorado allowed nearly 700 yards to Arizona. That bit of business also seemed to cause defensive coordinator Chris Wilson, who was in his second year at the DC position. The defense has had suspect performances all year. They’ve yet to hold an opponent under 400 yards of total offense so far this season.

Dorrell is expect to receive a buyout of $11.4 million, per the terms of his contract. The amount would have dropped to $7.8 million on Jan. 1, 2023, but given the severity of the situation waiting longer would been more determental to the state of the program.

The UCLA grad was named the 27th head coach for Colorado on Feburary 23, 2020. He signed a five-year, $18 million contract with $3.2 million paid in the first year and $200K annual raises in subsequent years. A bit more than the $ 2.4 million paid to Tucker in 2019.

Dorrell came to Boulder after serving as an assistant for the Miami Dolphins in 2019. It was his second tenure in South Florida after being on the Fins staff from 2008-11. He has bounced back and forth from the NFL to college over the course off three decades with stops at UCF, Northern Arizona, Vanderbilt, Arizona State, Washington along with the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and NY Jets.

This also marks the end of Dorrell’s third tenure with Colorado. He previously worked as a wide receivers coach under Bill McCatrney from 1992-93, and returned at the same capacity with an OC tag under Rick Neuheisel from 1995-98.