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CU's Karl Dorrell receives 'First Year' Coach of the Year honors

Dorrell was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league coaches.
Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell looks on before the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Boulder, Colo.

BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado Buffaloes head football coach Karl Dorrell has been named the Football Writers Association of America’s (FWAA) “First Year” Coach of the Year.

Each year, the FWAA bestows the honor on a head coach in his first season at a school.

Dorrell is the 19th recipient of the award, joining a recipient list that includes Steve Spurrier, Chris Pederson, Chip Kelly, Jimbo Fisher, Urban Meyer, Lincoln Riley, Ryan Day and more.

Dorrell was previously named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year by both the Associated Press and the league coaches. 

Dorrell was named CU’s 27th head coach on Feb. 23, the last head coach hired following the 2019 season. Between then and when spring football was scheduled to begin on March 16, Dorrell had to interview current assistant coaches and put together a staff, meet individually with all the players, get to know the support staff as well as he could, and devise his plan for spring practices, which were later called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CU also had three games canceled due to COVID issues with other schools. 

Dorrell and the Buffaloes finished 4-2 in the 2020 season. Colorado earned a bowl invitation for the first time since the 2016 season, losing to Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

RELATED: Off to solid start, Dorrell sees big things in store for CU

FWAA First Year Coach of the Year

  • 2002       Tyrone Willingham, Notre Dame
  • 2003       Steve Kragthorpe, Tulsa
  • 2004       Mike Price, UTEP
  • 2005       Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
  • 2006       Chris Petersen, Boise State
  • 2007       Jeff Jagodzinski, Boston College
  • 2008       Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
  • 2009       Chip Kelly, Oregon
  • 2010       Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
  • 2011       Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
  • 2012       Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  • 2013       Gus Malzahn, Auburn
  • 2014       Bryan Harsin, Boise State
  • 2015       Tom Herman, Houston
  • 2016       Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Clay Helton, USC
  • 2017       Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma
  • 2018       Josh Heupel, UCF
  • 2019       Ryan Day, Ohio State 
  • 2020       Karl Dorrell, Colorado

RELATED: CU superfan given head coach's game ball

Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell stands on the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford in Stanford, Calif. on Nov. 14, 2020.

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