When Colorado hired Karl Dorrell as its head football coach in February, it raised a few eyebrows around the country.
During CU’s search, Dorrell’s name never came up on a candidate list; he hadn’t been a head coach since being fired by UCLA after the 2007 season; and he’s spent all but one season (2014) since then as an assistant coach in the National Football League.
At least two Pac-12 coaches applauded the hire, though.
During a Pac-12 webinar on Wednesday, Arizona State’s Herm Edwards and UCLA’s Chip Kelly both had high praise for Dorrell.
“I thought it was a great hire by (CU athletic director) Rick George,” Kelly said. “I don’t get the out of the box (perception); I get that he went out and hired a really good person and I think Karl is going to do a really good job there.”
Kelly said he’s known Dorrell, who was head coach at UCLA from 2003-07, for a long time.
“He’s got an unbelievable reputation, just as a person,” said Kelly, who coaches in the NFL from 2013-16 before returning to college football. “He’s a good human being. I’ve never heard anybody say anything negative about Karl. He does things right. He holds people accountable; he holds himself accountable. He had an unbelievable reputation as a position coach in the National Football League.”
Edwards also said he’s known Dorrell for many years. An NFL coach from 1992-2008, Edwards said he has watched Dorrell grow as a coach.
“A man of great character and integrity,” Edwards said. “I watched him as a young coach progress and go up the food chain of becoming a head coach and all that kind of good stuff and I just watched him work from afar.
“You couldn’t get a better guy to lead that football team.”