Washington Colorado Football

Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Over the course of the past week, Colorado and Oregon have essentially swapped cornerbacks coaches.

Demetrice Martin was hired away from Boulder to be a part of Dan Lanning’s new staff in Eugene, and Karl Dorrell has now added Oregon’s cornerbacks coach from the past two seasons, Rod Chance, to his staff.

The addition of Chance to the Buffs coaching staff comes one day after Dorrell hired Vic So’oto from USC to coach the defensive line, which allows defensive coordinator Chris Wilson to focus on the defense as a whole, although CU said Wilson still may end up coaching a different position group.

"Vic is an impressive young coach," Dorrell said in a statement. "He is a great communicator, teacher and developer who relates very well with his players. His body of work speaks volumes, and I know our players will gravitate to his teaching style."

So’oto is a 34-year-old coach who has spent the last two seasons as the defensive line coach at USC. In 2020, he worked with First Team Pac-12 defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu, who is now in his rookie season in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Prior to that, he was an assistant coach at Virginia for four seasons, three of which were spent working with the defensive line.

So’oto played at BYU from 2005-10 and went undrafted into the NFL, playing three seasons as a linebacker before getting into coaching.

The second of the two hires made by Dorrell is a coach that he has previous experience working with.

Dorrell and Chance spent one season at Vanderbilt together in 2014 when Dorrell was the offensive coordinator and Chance was a quality control assistant.

Chance has had two stints at Oregon, serving as the cornerbacks coach in 2018 and from 2020-21 with one year as the cornerbacks coach at Minnesota in between.

"Rod comes to us as a coach that can develop our corners and impact our defense right away," Dorrell said. "He is known as a developer, a strong recruiter and has the defensive knowledge to help our secondary improve and play at a high level.”

Chance will have a difficult task ahead of him as CU’s top cornerback, Christian Gonzalez, announced he was entering the transfer portal shortly after Martin left for Oregon.

The Buffs’ secondary took another hit following Martin’s departure as starting safety Mark Perry put his name into the transfer portal. Neither player has committed to another school yet, so there is still a chance both players could return to CU.

The additions of Chance and So’oto to the CU staff means the Buffs currently have 11 assistant coaches, six of which are on the defensive side of the ball. The NCAA allows for 10 assistants, so one of outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski or safeties coach Brett Maxie, both of whom had their contracts expire after the season, may not be back.

Interestingly, So'oto's Twitter profile says he is coaching both the defensive line and outside linebackers, so that could leave Michalowski out of the picture.

CU also doesn’t currently have a wide receivers coach on staff, as former offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini coached that position and new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford wasn’t named to that role as well. Dorrell could theoretically coach the wide receivers himself as that’s the position he played in college and the position group he’s coached the most throughout his career.

Still, there is plenty more to be sorted out for Dorrell and the CU coaching staff as the offseason goes along.

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