Ken Dorsey

American football player and coach (born 1981)

American football player
Ken Dorsey
refer to caption
Dorsey in 2021
Cleveland Browns
Position:Offensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1981-04-22) April 22, 1981 (age 43)
Orinda, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Miramonte
(Orinda, California)
College:Miami (FL) (1999–2002)
NFL draft:2003 / Round: 7 / Pick: 241
Career history
As a player:
  • San Francisco 49ers (2003–2005)
  • Cleveland Browns (2006–2008)
  • Toronto Argonauts (2010)
As a coach:
  • Carolina Panthers (2013–2017)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Buffalo Bills (2019–2020)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Buffalo Bills (2021)
    Passing game coordinator & quarterbacks coach
  • Buffalo Bills (20222023)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Cleveland Browns (2024–present)
    Offensive coordinator
As an executive:
  • Carolina Panthers (20112012)
    Pro scout
As an administrator:
  • FIU (2018)
    Assistant athletic director
Career highlights and awards
As a player
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:408
Passing completions:214
Completion percentage:52.5%
Passing yards:2,082
Passer rating:55.2
Player stats at · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Kenneth Simon Dorsey (born April 22, 1981) is an American football coach and former quarterback who is the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Miami Hurricanes, where he won the national championship and the Maxwell Award in 2001. He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft, later playing for the Cleveland Browns and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL), before retiring in 2010.[1]

Dorsey became a coach in 2013, serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Carolina Panthers, after serving as a pro scout for the team from 2011 to 2012. He later became a coach with the Buffalo Bills, serving as their quarterbacks coach and eventually offensive coordinator. In 2024, Dorsey was hired as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

Early years

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.

Playing career


Although not highly touted when he came out of high school, Dorsey would eventually become the winningest quarterback in University of Miami history. He posted a record of 38–2 as the team's starting quarterback, including a 34 game winning streak. 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). He led the Hurricanes to back to back BCS National Championship game appearances, winning the 2002 Rose Bowl, and appearing in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.

In 2001 Dorsey led the Hurricanes to an undefeated 12–0 season and was named the co-MVP of the 2002 Rose Bowl (in which Miami defeated the University of Nebraska) to win the 2001 BCS National Championship. His 2001 Miami team has been considered one of the best and most talented college football teams of all time.

Dorsey was named 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, Dorsey was once again a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and led the ‘Canes to a second consecutive undefeated regular season and a national championship game berth in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. However Miami would fall to the Ohio State University Buckeyes in double-overtime. In that game Dorsey passed for 296 yards, 2 touchdowns, 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.

Dorsey 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.

College statistics

Miami Hurricanes
Year Team GP Cmp Att Pct Yards TDs Int Rtg
1999 Miami 6 74 120 61.7 807 10 2 142.3
2000 Miami 11 188 322 58.4 2,737 25 5 152.3
2001 Miami 11 184 318 57.9 2,652 23 9 146.1
2002 Miami 13 222 393 56.5 3,369 28 12 145.9
College Totals 41 668 1,153 57.9 9,565 86 28 147.4

National Football League

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 4+58 in
(1.95 m)
208 lb
(94 kg)
31+12 in
(0.80 m)
9+34 in
(0.25 m)
All values from NFL Combine[2]

San Francisco 49ers

Despite a strong college career, Dorsey was selected in the seventh round with the 241st overall pick of the 2003 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, due in part to concerns over Dorsey's arm strength.[3] 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.[4] He started the 2005 season as the third quarterback behind Tim Rattay and #1 pick Alex Smith, moving into the backup role after the trade of Rattay to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He went on to start three games for the injured Alex Smith.[5] In a Week 11 game against the Seattle Seahawks, Dorsey led an inspired comeback and was a two-point conversion away from sending the game into overtime.[6]

Cleveland Browns

Dorsey during his tenure with the Cleveland Browns

In May 2006, Dorsey was traded to the Cleveland Browns along with a seventh round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft for veteran quarterback Trent Dilfer, after having just re-signed with the 49ers.[7] 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 third-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.

The Browns drafted quarterback Brady Quinn of the University of Notre Dame with the 22nd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.[8][9] Frye, Anderson, Quinn, and Dorsey competed for position on the Browns' quarterback 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 threw three passes, two incomplete, the other an interception.[10]

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 21 game that was against the Bengals. Fourth string quarterback Bruce Gradkowski started in place of Dorsey in week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[11][12]

Dorsey was released by the Browns on February 9, 2009.[13]

Canadian Football League

On May 26, 2010, Dorsey signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, where he backed up former Miami Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon.[14] On May 3, 2011, Dorsey announced his retirement from professional football.[15]

Coaching career

High school

For a brief time, Dorsey was the quarterbacks coach for the Lakewood Ranch Mustangs high school football team in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.[16] On April 26, 2011, he was named offensive coordinator at nearby Riverview High School (Sarasota, Florida).[17]

Carolina Panthers

On August 15, 2011, Dorsey was hired by the Carolina Panthers as a pro scout.[18] During the 2011 off season, Dorsey was an IMG employee.[19] On January 23, 2013, Dorsey transitioned to the Panthers' coaching staff and was hired as their quarterbacks coach under head coach Ron Rivera.[20] In the 2015 season, Dorsey and the Panthers reached Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016. The Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.[21] On January 9, 2018, Dorsey, alongside offensive coordinator Mike Shula, was fired by the Panthers, after spending five seasons with the team.[22]

Florida International University

On March 26, 2018, Dorsey was hired to serve as the assistant director of athletics for the sports program at Florida International University effective April 2018. Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was quoted as saying "He'll bring a newness and spark to FIU. Not only is he a hard worker, but he has a vibrant killer instinct. He's a known proven winner over the years."[23]

Buffalo Bills

On February 2, 2019, Dorsey was hired by the Buffalo Bills as their quarterbacks coach under head coach Sean McDermott.[24] Prior to accepting the quarterback coach position with the Bills, Dorsey initially accepted an offensive assistant position with Appalachian State University under new head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. [25]

Following the 2020 season, Dorsey reportedly was approached by multiple NFL teams including the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions regarding their vacant offensive coordinator positions. The Bills promoted Dorsey to passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2021.[26]

On February 1, 2022, Dorsey was promoted to offensive coordinator, replacing Brian Daboll, who left to become the head coach of the New York Giants.[27]

After Dorsey and the Bills won the first two games of the 2022 season in dominating fashion, he received national attention for an incident following the Bills' last-second loss to the rival Miami Dolphins in week 3. At the end of the game, Dorsey was caught on-camera reacting emotionally in the coaches' box, slamming his hat, headset, and Microsoft Surface tablet on the table before the telecast cut away.[28] Dorsey's reaction received a polarized response from fans, players, and analysts.[29] The Bills ultimately finished the 2022 season second in points scored and yardage in Dorsey's first year as offensive coordinator.[30]

On November 14, 2023, Dorsey was fired by the Bills after a 5–5 start to the season, including a slump that saw the Bills lose 4 of 6 games while struggling on offense. He was succeeded by quarterbacks coach Joe Brady.[31]

Cleveland Browns

On February 5, 2024, the Browns hired Dorsey to be the offensive coordinator under head coach Kevin Stefanski.[32]


  1. ^ "Dorsey announces retirement from football". May 2, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  2. ^ "Ken Dorsey, Miami (FL), QB, 2003 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  3. ^ "2003 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  4. ^ "Ken Dorsey 2004 Game Log". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  5. ^ "Ken Dorsey 2005 Game Log". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  6. ^ "Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers – November 20th, 2005". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  7. ^ "49ers trade Dorsey to Browns for Dilfer". May 5, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  8. ^ "2007 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  9. ^ "Dorsey doesn't cut it as Browns quarterback". The Columbus Dispatch. September 2, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  10. ^ "Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns – November 30th, 2008". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  11. ^ "Cleveland Browns expect to start Gradkowski at QB vs. Pittsburgh Steelers". December 24, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  12. ^ "Ken Dorsey 2008 Game Log". Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  13. ^ "Cleveland Browns 2009 Preview". Bleacher Report. July 3, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Ken Dorsey signs with CFL's Toronto Argonauts". May 26, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2024.
  15. ^ "Former Miami QB Ken Dorsey retires from pro ball". The Victoria Advocate. Associated Press. May 3, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  16. ^ Swancey, Jason (October 9, 2009). "Former NFL QB helps out at the Ranch". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  17. ^ McDonald, Jerry (July 6, 2011). "49ers ex-quarterback Ken Dorsey at work on his coaching future". The Mercury News. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  18. ^ Florio, Mike (August 15, 2011). "Panthers hire Ken Dorsey as advance scout". Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  19. ^ Burns, Michael (July 4, 2017). "Beyond The U: Ken Dorsey". State of The U. Retrieved January 28, 2024.
  20. ^ Crabtree, Curtis (January 22, 2013). "Panthers hire Ken Dorsey as quarterbacks coach". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  21. ^ "Super Bowl 50 – Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers – February 7th, 2016". Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  22. ^ "Panthers part ways with OC Mike Shula, QB coach Ken Dorsey". January 9, 2018. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  23. ^ Barnett, Zach (March 26, 2018). "Former 'Canes QB Ken Dorsey reunites with Butch Davis as FIU assistant AD". NBC Sports. Retrieved January 28, 2024.
  24. ^ "Ken Dorsey". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  25. ^ "Ken Dorsey Named Buffalo Bill QB Coach". February 2, 2019. Retrieved December 29, 2023.
  26. ^ Wojton, Nick (July 15, 2021). "Looks like Bills coach Ken Dorsey was given promotion". Bills Wire. USA Today. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  27. ^ Brown, Chris (February 1, 2022). "Bills name Ken Dorsey offensive coordinator". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved February 1, 2022.
  28. ^ Roth, Emma (September 25, 2022). "Football claims another Microsoft Surface tablet". The Verge. Retrieved January 28, 2024.
  29. ^ Zeglinski, Robert (September 28, 2022). "Josh Allen said OC Ken Dorsey won the Bills players over with controversial meltdown after loss to Dolphins". For The Win. USA Today. Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  30. ^ "2022 Buffalo Bills Rosters, Stats, Schedule, Team Draftees, Injury Reports". Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  31. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 14, 2023). "Bills fire offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey; Joe Brady to take over as interim OC". Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  32. ^ "Ken Dorsey named Browns offensive coordinator". February 5, 2014. Retrieved February 5, 2014.

External links

  • Miami Hurricanes bio
  • Media related to Ken Dorsey at Wikimedia Commons
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Ken Dorsey
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2001 Miami Hurricanes football—consensus national champions
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San Francisco 49ers 2003 NFL draft selections
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San Francisco 49ers starting quarterbacks
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Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks