Colorado appears to have found its man. It’s being reported that Karl Dorrell will be the next head coach. What does it mean?
Karl Dorrell? Uhhhhhhh, okay.
The base desperately wanted Colorado to somehow lure away former star running back and current Kansas City Chief offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to be the head man, but it didn’t work out. Instead …
Colorado appears to have wanted a head coach with NFL experience at some level, but unlike previous hire Mel Tucker – who bolted after one year at the gig for Michigan State – we’ve seen what Karl Dorrell could do as a head coach.
It was whatever, but now it’s clean slate time for Colorado football as well as its new head coach.
The former UCLA head man is being hired away from his job as the Miami Dolphins’ receivers coach to take over a Colorado program that has a whole lot of potential, but needs a jump-start.
Dorrell seemed like the right hire at the right time for UCLA in 2003. The former Bruin wideout was a rising coaching prospect with time logged in after various Pac-12/Pac-10 schools – including Colorado for two different stints as the receivers coach – and it’s not like he was awful.
He led UCLA to five bowl appearances in five years, finished with a 35-27 record, and he even looked like he was about to make something special happen after building things up to a big 10-2 third year. Along the way, his 2006 team shocked a loaded USC squad 13-9.
But the program wanted more, Dorrell was fired in 2007, and he bounced around the NFL as a key assistant and spent a year as the Vanderbilt offensive coordinator.
And now he gets another shot.
It really is possible to win in Boulder.
After three straight 5-7 seasons, Colorado football has been the master of teasing everyone to think something big could get started, and then … pffffffft. The air keeps coming out of the balloon.
Even when it went to the Pac-12 Championship in 2016, that was a bit of an aberration – the schedule wasn’t anything great and the South tripped over itself. But a ten-win season is a ten-win season, especially when it’s the only winning campaign since 2005.
Good luck, Coach Dorrell.
It’s been over 15 years since Colorado was a superpower – in the Big 12. But in the Pac-12, it’s had one winning season in nine years, and a whole generation of fans have no idea what happened back in 1989 and 1990 – by the way, there was a tie in 1990 along with a split national championship; that’s how long ago it’s been since the program was a killer.
Fortunately for Dorrell and the Buffs, the South is gettable right now.
It’s just not happening so far at UCLA under Chip Kelly and Arizona under Kevin Sumlin, USC is in limbo, Utah is fine to a point, and Arizona State is fine, but whatever.
Dorrell has to ramp up the offense. He has to come up with a style of football that can at least start winning again, and then hope things fall into place and the South continues to struggle.
Was this the home run hire that’s going to freak out the rest of the Pac-12? Nah, but win eight games in Boulder on a regular basis, and build the thing up over the next three years, and Dorrell can make the program his.