The most surprising hire of the 2020 college football coaching search took place on Sunday afternoon.
Colorado’s week-long hunt for Mel Tucker’s replacement came to an end, as the school decided to go with Miami Dolphins assistant and former UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell. Tucker left for the Michigan State job after just one year in Boulder.
Dorrell was Colorado’s wide receivers coach from 1992-1993, as well as the offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach from 1995-1998.
“I’m excited to be back, it’s like coming home,” Dorrell said in a release. “The thing that excited me about this job is that my experience in the past here for the most part has been very successful. We had a lot of good teams, went to a lot of good bowl games.”
He was fired by UCLA in 2007 after his fifth season out west. He went 35-27 overall, including a 24-18 record in Pac-10 Conference play. The Bruins went to a bowl game every year under Dorrell’s leadership, but only won more than seven games once.
UCLA went 10-2 in 2005, finishing the season at No. 16 in the AP Poll after a win in the Sun Bowl. Dorrell has been in the NFL almost every season since being fired. He was an offensive assistant with the Dolphins from 2008-2011 before leaving to become the quarterbacks coach of the Houston Texans from 2012-2013.
His return to college football was a short one. Vanderbilt hired Dorrell as its offensive coordinator in 2014, but the Commodores fired him at the end of the season. He rebounded with a job as the New York Jets wide receivers coach from 2015-2018.
Dorrell returned to Miami to be the Dolphins wide receivers coach in 2019.
Colorado is paying the 56-year-old $18 million for five years. Athletic director Rick George is also reportedly “proposing a salary pool of $3.8 million for the assistant coaches, which is an increase from $3.155 million for the previous staff,” according to a release.
The Buffaloes went 5-7 last season in Tucker’s lone season with the program. Colorado is not expected to make much noise nationally this season, entering the year with 500/1 odds to win the College Football Playoff at 5Dimes.
The team went 6-6 ATS last season, while five of its final seven games went ‘under’ the total.