Kenneth Simon "Ken" Dorsey (born April 22, 1981) is a former football quarterback and current quarterbacks coach for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Miami. A two-time Heisman Trophy finalist at Miami, Dorsey played for the Cleveland Browns from 2006–2008.
Dorsey attended Miramonte High School in Orinda, California, and was a letterman in football and basketball. In football, he was a USA Today Honorable Mention All-USA selection. In basketball, he was a two-year letterman and as a senior, averaged 10.0 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals per game.
While at the University of Miami, Dorsey was known as a consummate winner, leading the Hurricanes to the 2001 national championship and posting a record of 38–2 as the team's starting quarterback. Dorsey also effectively rewrote the school record book, setting career records for total offense (9,486 yards), passing yards (9,565), passing touchdowns (86), pass completions (668), pass attempts (1,153), victories as a starting quarterback (38), winning percentage by a starting quarterback (.974), 200-yard passing performances (31), consecutive passes without an interception (193), consecutive games with a touchdown pass (31), and touchdown passes in a game (5).
In addition, he was named the co-MVP of the 2002 Rose Bowl (in which Miami defeated the University of Nebraska to win its fifth national championship), Offensive Player of the Year twice (2001, 2002), and First-team All-Big East three times (2000, 2001, 2002). Dorsey was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in both 2001 and 2002 and the winner of the 2001 Maxwell Award, which is given to the national collegiate player of the year.
In 2002, he led Miami to an undefeated regular season and a National Championship berth, where Miami would fall to eventual champion Ohio State. In double-overtime Dorsey and the Hurricanes were upset in their bid to win a second straight national championship. He passed for 296 yards, 2 TD's, and 2 interceptions. Miami finished the season 12–1, ranking second behind the Buckeyes. Dorsey finished the season with 3,369 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He was once again a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Ken was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame at its 45th Annual Induction Banquet on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Jungle Island in Miami.
San Francisco 49ers
Despite a strong college career, Dorsey was selected in the 7th round (pick 241) of the 2003 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, due in part to concerns over Dorsey's arm strength. In his first two seasons in the NFL, he played in nine games (starting in seven), completing 171 of his 316 pass attempts, and throwing for 1,712 yards and eight touchdowns with eleven interceptions. He started the 2005 season as the third QB behind Tim Rattay and #1 pick Alex Smith, moving into the backup role after the trade of Tim Rattay to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went on to start three games for the injured Alex Smith. In a week 11 game against the Seattle Seahawks, Dorsey led an inspired comeback and was a 2-point conversion away from sending the game into overtime.
Dorsey during his tenure with the Browns.
In May 2006, Dorsey was traded to the Cleveland Browns along with a 7th round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft for veteran quarterback Trent Dilfer, after having just re-signed with the 49ers. During training camp, Dorsey and Derek Anderson competed for the 2nd string position behind starter Charlie Frye. In the battle which ended in a virtual tie, Dorsey went on to serve as the 3rd string quarterback behind Anderson for all of the 2006 season. Dorsey was named the starter for the week 17 game against the Houston Texans but the previously injured Charlie Frye replaced him just minutes before the game. The Browns went on to lose to the Texans as Frye threw an interception and no touchdown passes.
Dorsey's hopes of becoming a starter for the Cleveland Browns became much more bleak after the Browns drafted quarterback Brady Quinn of the University of Notre Dame with the 22nd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Quinn and Dorsey battled for position on the Browns' QB depth chart throughout the 2007 NFL Pre-season. On September 1, 2007 the Browns released Dorsey. After a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1, Frye was traded to Seattle and Dorsey was re-signed by the Browns in a reserve role. Derek Anderson had a break-through season in 2007, further diminishing the chances of Dorsey receiving playing time.
On November 30, 2008, Dorsey was sent into the game against the Indianapolis Colts after Derek Anderson was injured; he made two passes, one incomplete the other an interception. On December 2, Derek Anderson was put on injured reserve ending his season. Dorsey was named the starter for the remainder of the 2008 season. However, Dorsey was injured during the December 21st game that was against the Bengals. Fourth string QB Bruce Gradkowski started in place of Dorsey in week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dorsey was released by the Browns on February 9, 2009.
For a brief time, Dorsey was the quarterbacks coach for the Lakewood Ranch Mustang's high school football team in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. On April 26, 2011 he was named offensive coordinator at nearby Riverview High School (Sarasota, Florida).
On May 26, 2010 Dorsey signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, where he backed up former Miami Dolphins QB Cleo Lemon. On May 3, 2011, Dorsey announced his retirement from professional football.
The Carolina Panthers hired Dorsey as a pro scout on August 15, 2011. During the 2011 off season, Dorsey was an IMG employee who trained Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, and Randall Cobb He was hired as the Panthers' quarterbacks coach on January 23, 2013.