ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Karl Dorrell out as coach at Colorado after loss to Arizona

Oct 2, 2022, 1:32 PM | Updated: 2:20 pm
Head coach Karl Dorrell of the Colorado Buffaloes on the sidelines during the second half of the NC...
Head coach Karl Dorrell of the Colorado Buffaloes on the sidelines during the second half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

BOULDER (AP) — Colorado fired football coach Karl Dorrell after an 0-5 start in which the Buffaloes have been blown out by more than 20 points in each game.

The school announced the decision Sunday, a day after a 43-20 loss at Arizona. It’s only the fourth 0-5 start in the history of Colorado (1980, 1984 and 2006).

Dorrell, 58, was brought in as a replacement when Mel Tucker bolted for Michigan State out of the blue in February 2020.

Dorrell’s hiring was met with surprise because he had been out of college coaching for a while. He was an assistant with the Miami Dolphins at the time, but had been UCLA’s head coach from 2003-07.

Dorrell, who had just built a house in the Boulder area, agreed to a five-year, $18 million contract that ran through 2024. His termination was first reported by ESPN. The buyout is approximately $8.7 million.

Colorado waited to announce the news until after Dorrell had a chance to inform his staff and players in a meeting. Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson was also let go.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford will serve as interim coach.

Dorrell didn’t have much of an offseason program due to coronavirus restrictions his inaugural season, but led the Buffaloes to a 4-2 mark and an appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Dorrell was named Pac-12 coach of the year.

But it’s been downhill ever since for the Buffaloes. Colorado went 4-8 last season and saw several key starters leave through the transfer portal. This season, Colorado has rotated through three quarterbacks in trying to ignite an offense that ranks near the bottom of the FBS ranks.

The loss to Arizona became the final blow for Dorrell, whose team has been outscored by a 216-67 margin. The Wildcats were a team predicted to finish 11th in the Pac-12 preseason media poll, with Colorado last. The Buffaloes’ defense surrendered 673 total yards Saturday — the most since allowing 616 to Arizona in 2015.

A national search for a coach is expected to start soon.

The Buffaloes and rival Colorado State, who have a new coach in Jay Norvell, are the only two teams left in the FBS without a win.

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