Where Are They Now?

With the college football coaching staffs largely in place for the new season, the Recruiting Class of 2023 in the books, and transfers settling in at their new schools, we can finally start to make sense of the musical chairs which has been this past off-season.

There is no doubt that the Colorado football roster has been improved from the 1-11 team in 2022, and there would be few that would argue that the coaching staff hasn’t been upgraded as well.

But how much?

One way to judge how talented the 2022 Colorado team was, and how well respected the coaching staff is in the world of college football, is to look at where the former Buff coaches and players wound up for the 2023 campaign.

CU 2022 Coaching Staff … and where they are now … 

Head Coach Karl Dorrell … Dorrell is owed $8.7 million by the University of Colorado for the 2023-25 seasons. He can sit home for the next three years and collect checks, and it appears that will certainly be the case for the 2023 season. If Dorrell decides to take a job over the next few years (back in the NFL?), Dorrell’s payout will be offset by his new salary. While the temptation might be to sit home in the Boulder area and watch the Coach Prime era unfold, coaches are a competitive lot, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him get back in the game in 2024 … Current status … unemployed.

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford … CU’s interim head coach after Karl Dorrell was fired, Sanford led the Buffs to their only win of the 2022 season, a 20-13 overtime win over Cal. The Buffs, though, then went on to lose their next six games, and were not competitive in five of those … Current status … unemployed.

Defensive coordinator/outside linebackers Chris Wilson … With CU for three seasons, including the last two as defensive coordinator, Wilson led a defense which was one of the worst on record, finishing dead last in points allowed during the 2022 season. Current status … Defensive coordinator, Houston Gamblers of the new USFL.

Assistant head coach/offensive line Phil McGeohanCurrent status … unemployed.

Running backs coach Darian HaganCurrent status … Executive director of community engagement and outreach and a football ambassador for CU. Hagan will also work as an analyst with the running backs.

Passing game coordinator/tight ends coach Clay PattersonCurrent status … Tight ends coach, South Florida.

Run game coordinator/offensive line coach Kyle DeVanCurrent status … Associate head coach, run game coordinator and offensive line coach at Charlotte

Defensive Run Game Coordinator/Safeties coach Brett MaxieCurrent status … Defensive backs coach, Houston Gamblers of the new USFL.

Outside linebackers coach Jeff SmartCurrent status … unemployed (Smart’s twitter account has him associated with Purdue, but I can’t find him listed as part of Ryan Walters’ new staff in West Lafayette.

Defensive line Gerald ChatmanCurrent status … unemployed.

Inside linebackers coach Mark SmithCurrent status … unemployed.

Final Tally … For Karl Dorrell and his ten assistant coaches:

  • Six are unemployed;
  • Two are working for the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. While a professional league, it’s hard to see these jobs as a step up;
  • One at South Florida;
  • One at Charlotte;
  • and one, Darian Hagan, still working at a Power Five conference school, though in a lesser capacity.

2022 CU roster … Players who have entered the Transfer Portal … 

QB … Brendon Lewis (Nevada) … Owen McCown (UTSA) … Maddox Kopp (Miami-Ohio) … J.T. Shrout (Arkansas State)

WR … Chase Penry (Boise State) … Jack Hestera (Charlotte) … Maurice Bell

OL … Casey Roddick (Florida State) … Noah Fenske (Southern Illinois) … Austin Johnson (Charlotte)

DL … Janaz Jordan (Towson State)

LB … Edgar Amaya (North Alabama)

DB …  … Kaylin Moore (Cal) … Toren Pittman

K … Cole Becker (Utah)

Current Tally … For the 15 Buffs who entered the Transfer Portal with eligibility remaining (Safety Isaiah Lewis and wide receiver Daniel Arias could have entered the Transfer Portal, but have opted to enter the NFL Draft):

  • Three players who have transferred to Power Five schools: DB Kaylin Moore (Cal); OL Casey Roddick (Florida State); and K Cole Becker (Utah);
  • Eight players who have transferred to Group of Five schools: QB Brendon Lewis (Nevada); Owen McCown (UTSA); QB Maddox Kopp (Miami-Ohio); J.T. Shrout (Arkansas State); WR Chase Penry (Boise State); WR Jack Hestera (Charlotte); OL Noah Fenske (Southern Illinois); OL Austin Johnson (Charlotte);
  • Two players who have transferred to lower division schools: DL Janaz Jordan (Towson State); and Edgar Amaya (North Alabama); and
  • Two players (as far as I can determine) who have yet to find a home: WR Maurice Bell and DB Toren Pittman

As hard as it may be to believe, the above total of 15 players leaving the program may double between now and the start of Fall Camp. The CU roster is currently at 94, which is nine scholarship players above the 85-player limit CU must reach by August 1st. With Coach Prime indicating that CU is still shopping for players, and expecting to sign more players out of the Transfer Portal after the end of spring practices, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see up to 15 more Buff scholarship players be looking for new homes this summer.

To date, only three of the players who have left the program have found new homes at Power Five conference schools … 20%.

Couple that with the fact that only one of ten of CU’s assistant coaches is currently employed at a Power Five conference school … and that’s Darian Hagan, basically a legacy in the Champions Center. And even Hagan is not employed as an assistant coach, but as an analyst and an ambassador.

So, if you are keeping score at home, that would make four former Buffs – out of 25 – who are competing at the same level as they were last season.

Draw your own conclusions …


6 Replies to “Where Are They Now?”

  1. Stuart,
    I’m not sure if you answered this elsewhere, but do you know what is going on with Toren Pittman. He was #1 is ST’s points and won the Mac Award. He is not listed on the CU roster, but does not look like he is in the portal either?

    1. I have seen posted that he has left the team, and won’t be on the roster for the 2023 season, but I haven’t seen anyone who knows why.
      It appears clear that he is not with the program for spring practices, but what his intentions are beyond that, I don’t know.

  2. Super bowl isnt number one on my list today either…..however ……..if I was strapped to my chair and only given 2 channels……seriously? Not only that there might be some brand new and actually entertaining commercials for a change.
    Then again I could probably get my taxes done and read a book while watching golf. Then again I dont want to support a “sport” that wastes the water coming from my neighborhood ……and drains Lake Powell. Even if I, by some temporary derangement, decided to wander thru 9 I gave all my polos to goodwill decades ago.
    Roddick landed on his feet. We will probably miss him. CP’s line recruiting was less spectacular than the skill players. Always wondered why the O line wasn’t considered a skill position.
    Looks like the Gamblers are truly gambling.
    Does KD still live in Boulder? or has he moved to a place where he wont be reminded occasionally?
    I might cast an eye over at Nevada and UTSA to see how Lewis and McCown are doing.

  3. Happy WM open PGA golf tournament. Man is it a good one. Really good . Top players playing great. Final round Today. Some truly unbelievable golf shots.
    May have to run out and buy an 85″ super tv just to watch it.
    Gonna be a good day
    Note 2: I played Bel-air once. It is where I had my 2nd hole in one on the 5th hole. Three bounces, 10 foot roll and in.

    Super bowl later in the day. Who cares?

    Go Buffs

    Note: Now do all the coaches and players who are new to the Buffs and where they came from

    Comment: Without the coaches you don’t get the players.

    1. Note: Now do all the coaches and players who are new to the Buffs and where they came from
      See: CU Assistant Coach Tracker … See: Transfer Portal Tracker … See: CU Recruiting Class of 2023
      P.S. Since you won’t be watching the Super Bowl, and will have next weekend free (after Tigger misses the cut) perhaps you’ll have time to put a nice compilation together for us …

      1. Nah,
        That’s your job and why you get paid the big bucks. You all ready have all the pieces. Step up and add your commentary like you did on this piece. It’s always a good read.

        Go Buffs.

        Note: Watch out for the balloons.

        Note 2: Well, I will be watching the super bowl. Checking out the ads. It will be background noise while me and turbo tax get reacquainted

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