Colorado has fired head coach Karl Dorrell after an incredibly poor start to the 2022 season.
Colorado decided to make a coaching change after dropping to 0-5 with a 43-20 loss to Arizona on Saturday night. Dorrell was in the midst of his third season as the Buffaloes’ head coach and it wasn’t much of a stretch to say that Colorado was the worst Power Five team in college football. The Buffaloes have struggled on both sides of the ball in 2022 and the offense has been especially poor.
"I want to thank Karl for his hard work in leading our program since 2020," Colorado athletic director Rick George said. "Ultimately, however, the results on the field just did not measure up to our expectations and standards, which made it necessary for us to make this change at this time. It was an extremely difficult decision and I wish Karl all of the best in his future endeavors."
Dorrell's buyout is almost $9 million. Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, a former head coach at Western Kentucky, is the team's interim coach. Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson was also fired.
Three different quarterbacks have gotten starts for the Buffs this season and none of them have had much success. Colorado has thrown for 160 yards per game and its QBs have completed just half of their passes. On the other side of the ball, Colorado has been ripped apart by opponents’ run games. Colorado’s foes are throwing for fewer than 150 yards per game because they know they can slice through the Buffaloes on the ground. The Buffs have given up over 300 yards rushing per game and are allowing a staggering 7 yards a carry.
With non-conference games against TCU, Air Force and Minnesota, Colorado had perhaps the toughest non-con schedule of any Power Five team. And while the Buffs were underdogs in all three games, they didn’t keep one close. Each of the three teams scored 38 points or more and the closest game was a 25-point Week 1 loss to the Horned Frogs.
Things failed to get better in Pac-12 play. Colorado has been overmatched there too as evidenced by Saturday night. Arizona QB Jayden de Laura threw for 484 yards and six touchdowns as the Buffaloes were overmatched from the start. Arizona went 1-11 in 2021 and lost 34-0 to the Buffaloes.
Dorrell’s Colorado tenure ends with a career record of 8-15. The Buffaloes went 4-2 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season before dropping to 4-8 in 2021 before the 2022 struggles.
Dorrell was hired to replace Mel Tucker after Tucker went 5-7 in his only season as Colorado’s head coach before he left for Michigan State. The job was Dorrell’s first head coaching job in college football since he was at UCLA from 2003-07. He was 35-27 in Los Angeles and the Bruins went 10-2 in 2005.
After UCLA, Dorrell spent time as an assistant in the NFL with the exception of the 2014 season as Vanderbilt’s offensive coordinator. He was most recently the wide receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins before he was hired at Colorado.
Dorrell is among five Power Five coaches fired in the past four weeks. Nebraska fired Scott Frost after Week 2, Arizona State fired Herm Edwards after Week 3 and Georgia Tech fired coach Geoff Collins after Week 4. Wisconsin's Paul Chryst joined the group Sunday when he was reportedly dismissed.