Top 6 Candidates to Replace Karl Dorrell at Colorado

By: Sports Teller

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After an 0-5 Start, Who Are the Top 6 Candidates to Replace Karl Dorrell as Colorado Buffaloes Head Coach in 2023? 


Hello Everyone! Welcome to Sports Teller! Today, we will be going over the latest news involving Top 6 Candidates to Replace Karl Dorrell at Colorado! Before we reveal who those top candidates are, we must go over the full story regarding Dorrell’s firing. Without further adieu, let’s begin!


Top 6 Candidates to Replace Karl Dorrell at Colorado

Full Story on Dorrell Being Fired as Buffaloes Head Coach

With Karl Dorrell gone, now is the time for the Buffaloes football program to make a list of top candidates. In fact, the recognizable applicants could be qualified to become the team’s new head coach for the 2023 Season. Colorado decided to dismiss Dorrell after over two seasons under the helm. At the time of the firing, the football program was 0-5 to start the season and Karl Dorrell received a nearly $9 million buyout. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes gave the interim coaching role to Offensive Coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. Another thing to point out is that Colorado fired defensive coordinator Chris Wilson. 

The decision to fire the coach was due to the fact that Pac-12 Football has intense competition from USC, Oregon, and Utah. Also, Colorado has only appeared in a bowl game twice since the 2010’s. The Buffaloes became the second Pac-12 team to fire a head coach this season as Arizona State dismissed Herm Edwards in September. 

Karl Dorrell’s Career with the Colorado Buffaloes

During his tenure in Boulder, Dorrell compiled an 8-15 overall record with 6-9 in the conference. In fact, he led the Buffaloes to the 2020 Alamo Bowl. However, Colorado has not won 10 or more games in a season since 2016. To make matters worse, the Buffaloes have not appeared in a New Year’s Bowl since the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Also, the program has not finished in the Top 25 rankings since 2016 (#17).

Before coming to Boulder in 2020, he served as a wide receivers coach for the Miami Dolphins (2019) and New York Jets (2015-2018). Dorrell was also the offensive coordinator for Vanderbilt in 2014. Interestingly, he was the head coach for the UCLA Bruins from 2003 until 2007. 

What’s Next for the Colorado Buffaloes?

Now, many Colorado fans might be wondering: Who is the leading candidate to replace Karl Dorrell in 2023? The top 6 candidates listed in this article have prior coaching experience. In addition, those candidates have been on the coaching staff for at least five years. For the top 6 candidates to replace Dorrell as Colorado Head Coach, please refer to the information below!

Possible Candidates to Replace Karl Dorrell at Colorado

Internal Candidates

  1. Mike Sanford Jr.
  • Colorado Interim Coach (2022-Present)
  • Colorado OC (2022-Present)
  • Minnesota OC (2020-2021)
  • Utah State OC (2019)
  • Western Kentucky HC (2017-2018)
  • Notre Dame OC (2015-2016)
  • Boise State OC (2014)

Top Head Coach Candidates for Buffaloes Football to Consider

  1. Tom Herman-Former Texas Head Coach
  • Chicago Bears Analyst (2021)
  • Texas HC (2017-2020)
  • Houston HC (2015-2016)
  • Ohio State OC (2012-2014)
  • Iowa State OC (2009-2011)
  • Rice OC (2007-2008)
  • Led Ohio State to 2014 National Championship
  • Also Guided Longhorns to 2019 Sugar Bowl
  1. Dan Mullen-TV Analyst
  • ESPN TV Analyst (2022-Present)
  • Florida HC (2018-2021)
  • Mississippi State HC (2009-2017)
  • Florida OC (2005-2008)
  • Guided Gators to 2 National Titles (2006 & 2008)
  • Also Led Mississippi State to 2014 Orange Bowl
  1. Bryan Harsin-Auburn
  • Auburn HC (2021-Present)
  • Boise State HC (2014-2020)
  • Arkansas State HC (2013)
  • Texas Co-OC (2011-2012)
  • Led Boise State to 2014 Fiesta Bowl
  • Also Guided Auburn to 2021 Birmingham Bowl
  1. Brian Lindgren-Oregon State
  • Oregon State OC (2018-Present)
  • Colorado OC (2013-2017)
  • San Jose State OC (2012)
  • Northern Arizona OC (2009-2011)
  • Guided Oregon State to 2021 LA Bowl
  • Also Led Colorado to 2016 Pac-12 Championship Game

Leading Candidate to Replace Karl Dorrell at Colorado in 2023

  1. Eric Bieniemy-Kansas City Chiefs
  • Chiefs OC (2018-Present)
  • Chiefs RB Coach (2013-2017)
  • Colorado OC (2011-2012)
  • Vikings RB Coach (2006-2010)
  • Bieniemy also Played RB for Buffaloes in the Early 1990’s
  • Led Chiefs to Super Bowl Championship During 2019 Season
  • Also Guided Kansas City to Super Bowl Appearance in Early 2021
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