The five-year, $18 million contract is pending approval from Colorado's Board of Regents, according to a statement released by the school. In his first year, Dorrell would receive a $3.2 million base salary with a $200,000 annual increase.
Dorrell, who served as the Dolphins' wide receivers coach last season, will take over for Mel Tucker, who left Colorado this off-season to become the head coach at Michigan State. Dorrell previously was the Buffaloes' offensive coordinator and receivers coach from 1995-98 and the wideouts coach from 1992-93.
"I'm excited to be back, it's like coming home," Dorrell said in a statement. "The thing that excited me about this job is that my experience in the past here for the most part has been very successful. We had a lot of good teams, went to a lot of good bowl games. It's a top caliber program that has a lot of potential, and I'm excited to return it to that level."
Dorrell was the head coach at UCLA from 2003-07 and led the Bruins to a 35-27 record and five bowl appearances. The school parted ways with him at the end of the 2007 season despite the Bruins reaching a bowl game.
Dorrell, 56, returns to the college ranks after spending the last five seasons in the NFL. He was the receivers coach for the New York Jets (2015-18) before assuming the same role with the Dolphins in 2019. His last college coaching job was in 2014, when he served as Vanderbilt's offensive coordinator.