Special Episode – The Firing of Head Coach Karl Dorrell & What’s Next for the CU Football Program

Well, so much for the bye week … Welcome to a special edition of the podcast. I am joined for this episode by Brad Geiger and Neil Langland, and we will discuss the dismissal of Karl Dorrell as the head coach at the University of Colorado, as well as the future of the program.

We start by taking a look back at the Karl Dorrell era. Dorrell had an 8-15 record at CU (6-9 in Pac-12 play), earning Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors in 2020. Yet, after a 4-0 start in Boulder, things went south in a hurry, with the start of the 2022 season setting records … historically bad records.

We then move on to the press conference conducted by CU athletic director Rick George, Chancellor Phil DiStefano, and interim head coach Mike Sanford. So eyebrow raising – and discouraging – were the comments from George and DiStefano that Sanford and the remainder of the 2022 season quickly became afterthoughts.

So … Is Rick George really going to go forward with his next hire without any outside consultation? … Is Phil DiStefano so out of touch with regard to present day recruiting and transfer needs that the next head coach is doomed to failure even before he is hired? … How important will the debate over Progress Toward Degree (PTD) become in the next two months? … Should the next head coach at Colorado have head coaching experience – or is a hot young coordinator the way to go? … Should previous connections to CU be a prerequisite for the job – or a disqualifying characteristic? … Which names on the compiled lists of potential candidates jump out as the most enticing? …

… Let’s find out …

Most recent episodes (All of the CU at the Game NIL Interview Podcasts can be found here):

Below is Episode 36 of Season 3 for the CU at the Game Podcast. You can listen to the podcast simply by clicking on the play button below, or listen it to it here at Buzzsprout, or at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio … or wherever you find your podcasts!

10 Replies to “CUATG Podcast: The Firing of Karl Dorrell – What’s Next?”

  1. Stuart,

    Thanks for the special podcast. I enjoyed listening to your thoughts/comments along with Brad and Neil’s. It’s very discouraging to hear DiStefano’s comments. Hopefully there are some changes being discussed (behind the scenes) regarding the administration’s support of the football program…but only time will tell.

    In the meantime, the Buff Nation sits in the dark patiently waiting for “the next guy” that is going to try and right the football program.


  2. Should have hired Brett Bielema the last time. Look what he has done at Illinois in a year and a half. 4-1 and one bad call from being 5-0 this year. Could have been a much different picture at CU. Instead the cycle of mostly 20 years of misery continues.

  3. Ya,

    coaches are into that
    Location, Location, Location thing.


    It ain’t just the neighborhood

    Beat Cal
    Law school picnic

  4. Never have done this previously but I sent an email to Rick G, Phil D, and Mr Saliman. Got a one-liner reply from Rick and same from Phil who said….”Compared to our last coaching change, there is more time to work through issues such as the transfer portal and NIL as we search for a new coach.” Maybe, just maybe he has some understanding of how far we are below the curve from and institutional standpoint??? I think everyone who cares should send an email to Rick and Phil….so they can’t ignore the elephant in the room!

  5. Residents of Tuscaloosa or Columbus, OH (and many other communities) would run a college administrator out of town (probably quite literally) if they exhibited the attitude DiStefano does towards football. He needs to retire.

    1. Problems in organizations start at the top. We have a new President who says the right things. Time will tell on the actions. The biggest problem at the top, IMO, is DiStefano. His comments do not inspire confidence that transformational change, which is required here at rock bottom, will occur. He appears to be either unwilling and/or incapable of navigating through this critical moment. One way or another, he needs to be removed from the critical path of resetting the football program. Over the years of decline, he has been the one constant. Incremental to no change in operating mode, which he appears to emanate, will certainly dim whatever opportunities the CU football program has to arise from this historic abyss. Definitely time to retire or the university needs to reassign his athletic department responsibilities to someone who can rise to this occasion.

  6. The Buffs should go after Riley’s brother who is the OC at TCU. Garrett Riley, get him now. He’s the best up and coming coach. He’ll be 34 just like his brother by the time he is Head Coach. Obviously, everyone watched them carve up the Buffs, but they did the same whipping to the Sooners. TCU is on course to play for Big 12 Championship. Go get him now, we need energy, new ideas and a youth movement.

  7. Listening to the podcast, I’m curious why is everyone (ok, not everyone, but a lot of people) still saying Mel was a good hire? He’s coached three and a half seasons, went 5-7 at Boulder with arguably the best roster CU had in any coaching transition since Bill to Rick and Rick to Gary. He then went what, 4-8 or 5-7 and got a fat payday at MSU. Had a great year last year, wonder if that stud one year wonder transfer RB had anything to do w/ that? And now, I’m wondering if another 5-7 year, or worse, is in the offing for them? $10mill/yr? No thanks.

    But, on to the future. Rick’s job is now to sell the vision, and provide the tools to achieve it to the next coach and their staff. He was unable to do so last time. Did the timing hurt? Absolutely. But it wasn’t the only reason for the whiff.

    He’s got to recruit the next guy, and their assistants. Can he? We’ll find out.

    In many ways there are parallels to the recruitment of the players CU has faced over the last 20yrs, including chaperoned visits and 10pm curfews.

    CU may want Caleb Williams, or Bryce Young but they were never going to go there. CU may want Lance Leipold, or any of the other “hot” names that are on every team with a vacancy’s list, but… do they want to go to Boulder?

    We know fit is also big. A lot of talk about Harsin being a fit in Boulder. No thanks.

    I certainly don’t have the answers. I’m not convinced Rick and his “former Buffs” committee does either. Heck, there’s no guarantee a search firm would either. But, like selling pretty much anything, it’s a numbers game. And a search firm can help broaden that spectrum, in my opinion. It’s what they do. That helps from myopic thinking. It also helps in the “fit” game too b/c they can have candid discussions about opportunities and concerns to quickly cut through the “ain’t gonna happen” guys, as well as the “shouldn’t happen, not a good fit” guys.

    It’s going to be really interesting to watch this play out. I also think the timing of it will be interesting. There’s no need to wait to the end of the season to hire a guy – if he’s the right guy. Similarly, there’s no reason to hire a guy ASAP, unless he’s the right guy.

    In my business, it’s a lot like buying a home. The best “deal” on price, and the lowest rates on the planet, don’t do you a lick of good if it’s the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood. CU’s had 20+ years of that. Find the right house, that meets your needs and budget, and everything else comes out in the wash. Yes, I know that’s a simplistic analogy, but there are parallels.

    Go Buffs – get this thing right. Please.

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