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Spring 2003
First & Goal
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Integrity is Karl Dorrell’s watchword as he assumes the mantle of UCLA’s head football coach

By B.J. Violett ’81
Illustration by Joe Morse

Novelist Thomas Wolfe said you can’t go home again. Don’t tell that to Karl Dorrell.

After 15 years on the road coaching on the collegiate level and with the Denver Broncos, Dorrell ’87, a receiver on three Rose Bowl-winning Bruin teams, is back home in Westwood as UCLA’s 15th head football coach. It is with both exuberance and reverence that he takes charge of UCLA’s program.

“It has always been a dream of mine to someday return to campus as the head coach at this great university,” Dorrell says with down-to-earth forthrightness. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I’m excited. I’m privileged. I’m honored. I’m proud to be a Bruin, proud to be back.”

While he lacks head-coaching experience, Dorrell is not the least bit intimidated, nor is he afraid to admit that he doesn’t know it all. The staff he’s built since his hire in December includes former head coaches and coordinators (some of whom he worked under) with decades of experience, as well as young up-and-comers.

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