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New CU football coach, Karl Dorrell, ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
New CU football coach, Karl Dorrell, was on hand for pro day. University of Colorado senior football players showed their skills for NFL scouts during CU Pro Timing Day on March 11, 2020.

During the past two decades, Colorado head football coaches have dealt with a lot of challenges, but nothing quite like what Karl Dorrell is facing during his first month on the job.

Dorrell, of course, is not alone in trying to navigate the new realities coming about as world-wide concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus continue. The threat of the virus has brought the sports world – and many other areas of the globe – to a halt for the foreseeable future.

Introduced as CU’s 27th head football coach on Feb. 24, Dorrell could possibly be the first Buffs’ coach since at least the 1950s to go through a spring without practice. CU has postponed spring practice until at least March 30, but there is increasing likelihood it won’t happen at all.

On Dorrell’s mind right now, however, is a broader perspective of the safety and well-being of not only his players and staff, but everybody. On Wednesday morning, CU posted a video of Dorrell offering his comments on a unique situation that is impacting the world.

“I just want to say a few words of encouragement from my standpoint in dealing with this crisis that we’ve been dealing across the country and obviously across the globe,” Dorrell said. “All I can say is that we need to kind of be on the same team, in terms of understanding what we’re dealing with and going through the protocol of what people are saying for us to go through, in terms of our social distancing and obviously taking care of ourselves from a health perspective as best we can.

“I do know that that some point in time this will be alleviated. We’re going to have to be patient through the process as this unfolds, but I think the best thing we can do, at least from my perspective, is to stay optimistic, stay under the understanding that we’re going to get through this thing together. We’re going to continue to do the great things that we were doing prior to this, through this crisis. I just want to encourage everybody to stay close with their families and loved ones and obviously take care of ourselves and to have faith that these things, we’re going to endure and persevere and get through this and there’s going to be better times ahead.”

In a media conference call Tuesday, athletic director Rick George said Dorrell and his staff, many of which have been hired in the past two weeks, are using this time to get to know each other, while going through the process of preparing for the 2020 season and developing the offensive, defensive and special teams plans for the Buffs.

CU has closed all workout facilities for student-athletes until at least after spring break, which ends March 29. Last weekend, a football team was tentatively set for the evening of March 29.

While the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference have canceled all team activities through the school year – including practices – the Pac-12 has yet to do so. Although unlikely CU would conduct spring football practices later this month or in April, George said May or June practices are “a possibility.”

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