November 29, 2021

Teacher faces student at Folsom Field Friday, when Dorrell hosts McCaffrey

Karl Dorrell coached Ed McCaffrey and the Broncos wide receivers from 2000-2002. Now, the two head coaches meet in the college football opener, as CU hosts UNC.

BOULDER, Colo. — He’s a familiar man with an unfamiliar coaching scheme. 

University of Northern Colorado Head Coach Ed McCaffrey comes into Friday night’s season opener with only the experience and game tape of coaching at Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

“That’s really what his body of work that we know in the past is really from that,” CU Head Coach Karl Dorrell said.

But Dorrell knows a lot more about McCaffrey, dating back to 2000 in Dove Valley. The current leader of the Buffs was once the leader of the Broncos wide receiver corps.

“The reason why he’s on that road to ascension is because of his playing style. He was very detailed, very specific, a hard study guy,” Dorrell said.

Dorrell led the wide receivers from 2000-2002, helping McCaffrey to a career-high 1,317 yards in the 2000-01 season with nine touchdowns.

“It was a lot of fun on my part, but on the other side, I had to know what I was talking about. If I said something that wasn’t true, or wasn’t factual, or didn’t work, they kept me on my toes about that,” Dorrell said. “So I had to make sure I studied a little harder than they did so I could answer questions like that.”

With four boys at home, McCaffrey was also kept on his toes. His eldest son Max is now his offensive coordinator at UNC. Christian is a Pro Bowl running back in Carolina. Dylan, who graduated Valor Christian in 2017, just recently announced his transfer to join his dad and brother as the quarterback of the UNC Bears. Ed and Lisa’s youngest son Luke, who graduated from Valor in only 2019, transferred from Nebraska to Louisville and then to Rice this offseason. 

With so much talent in the household, Dorrell said he saw a natural gift for teaching and coaching.

“The reason they were all successful was because there was a lot of teaching in the McCaffery household,” he said. “It’s part of his fabric. I believe this is a great profession for him and he’ll do a great job, I just don’t want it to happen on Friday.”

Colorado last hosted Northern Colorado in 2017, beating the Bears 41-21.

UNC and CU kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday night from Folsom Field. The game is broadcast on Pac-12 Network, and will feature the debut of Ralphie XI.

RELATED: Meet Ralphie VI: CU introduces new live buffalo mascot

RELATED: A family affair: Ed, Max and Dylan McCaffrey excited to lead UNC Bears together

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