Colorado Buffs Fire Head Coach Karl Dorrell After Ugly 0-5 Start

The Colorado Buffaloes had one of their worst starts in the school’s history and they fired head coach Karl Dorrell after the team started 0-5 and lost all five games by at least 23 points.

Colorado Buffs head coach Karl Dorrell on the sideline during a season-opening loss against TCU in Boulder. Colorado fired Dorrell got after an 0-5 start. (Image: David Zalubowski/AP)

In three seasons with Colorado, Dorrell went 8–15. During the pandemic-shortened season of 2020, Dorrell led Colorado to a 4-2 record. In 2021, Dorrell and Colorado went 4-8.

Colorado also fired defensive coordinator Chris Wilson along with Dorrell. Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford earned a promotion to head coach.


9/1 Lost 38-13 vs TCU
9/10 Lost 41-10 at Air Force
9/17 Lost 49-7 at Minnesota
9/29 Lost 45-17 vs UCLA
10/1 Lost 43-20 at Arizona

Colorado will not have to worry about losing this Saturday because the Buffs have a bye week before returning to action on October 15 against Cal. Out of all FBS teams, Colorado is one of two winless squads.

Colorado Blowouts

It’s been a frustrating season in Boulder. Colorado struggled on both sides of the ball this season and were dominated by their opponents in every aspect of the game. The anemic offense only scored 17-plus points twice this season and averaged a paltry 13.4 points per game. The atrocious defense allowed 43.2 points per game.

Colorado was outscored by 25-plus points in the first four games of the season. Overall, they were outgunned by at least 23 points per game in their five losses. It’s impossible to win games when you’re spotting your opponents three touchdowns.

Dorrell benched a lot of his veteran starters and gave freshman a shot, but even that desperate move did not work. Colorado used three starting quarterbacks this season: Brandon Lewis, JT Stoud, and Owen McCown.

Lewis started last season, but he struggled and was benched in Week 2 in favor of Stroud. Stroud spent two seasons as a backup with the Tennessee Vols before he entered the transfer portal and headed to Boulder. Stoud also struggled before Dorrell gave true freshman Owen McCown.

McCown’s father, Josh, played in the NFL for over a decade. The younger McCown got his shot in a 49-7 blowout loss against the Minnesota Gophers completed four passes for 57 yards. McCown started the last two games and tossed two touchdowns and rushed for two more. Overall this season, McCown completed 44-for-79 passes for 496 yards.

Who Wants to Coach the Colorado Buffs?

Rick George, Colorado’s athletic director, will not name a full-time head coach until after the season ends. Whomever gets the job will be tasked with leading Colorado to their first bowl win since 2004.

The next leader of our football program will be someone who is an incredible motivator, someone who has a passion for winning and molding young men into leaders both on and off the field,” said George.

Matt Rhule from the Carolina Panthers could become the first NFL head coach to lose his job this season. Rhule helped turned around Baylor during his stint in Waco, and he’s rumored to return to the collegiate ranks next season.

Urban Meyer is still without a job after a disastrous run with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. Meyer is the leading candidate to replace Herm Edwards at Arizona State, but he could also interview with Colorado if he wants to coach in the Pac-12.

Troy Calhoun, the head coach at Air Force, was on the short list for the Colorado job back in 2020 but lost out to Dorrell. In 16 seasons with Air Force, Calhoun went 115-76 and led the Falcons to 11 bowl berths.

Matt Entz led North Dakota State to two FCS national titles in his first three seasons at NDSU. There’s a good chance Entz lands a head coaching job with an FBS school next season, but he’d be a good fit at Colorado.

It’s a long shot, but Colorado should give Eric Bieniemy a call. Bieniemy, the OC with the Kansas City Chiefs, won a national championship as a star running back with Colorado back in 1990. Perhaps George could persuade Bieniemy to return to Boulder and help restore Colorado to its former glory?

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