Spotlighting Alumni: Ken Dorsey


Sohann Renac

Now leading one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses, Miramonte alumni Ken Dorsey ‘99 demonstrates how commitment to athletics in high school can shape one’s life.

Growing up in Orinda, Dorsey attended Miramonte High School from 1995 to 1999. Involved in sports since freshman year, he quickly rose through the ranks in both football and basketball, granting him official recognition as a letterman athlete. Dorsey was a part of both football and basketball varsity teams throughout his high school career and took up essential roles in both teams, starting at quarterback and forward during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. He proceeded to lead the matadors to back-to-back NCS titles and threw an outstanding 52 TDS in those two years alone. As a result, Dorsey was named All-East Bay in 1997 and 1998, Examiner All-Metro in 1997 and 1998, and Cal-Hi All-State in 1998. Dorsey would later be inducted into Miramonte’s hall of fame in 2017.

“Kenny is really smart, understands the game, and respects everyone. I think Kenny was always a leader, and role model, and empathetic, that is usually the best traits of a leader,” Miramonte football coach Vincent Dell-Aquila said.

Following his senior season, Dorsey packed his bags for sunny Florida as he would attend the University of Miami in the fall. Although not highly rated by national scouts, Dorsey carved his way through the competition and obtained an unrivaled starting spot as the Hurricane’s starting quarterback by his sophomore year. In his first season as a primary quarterback, he led the Hurricanes to an 11-1 record, defeating their rivals, the Florida Gators, along the way.

The 2000-2001 season wouldn’t prove to be his best, however, as the following season, he rallied Miami to an undefeated season and a national championship. The 2001 Hurricane football squad would later be known as one of college football’s best all-time teams as 35 of its players including Frank Gore, Sean Taylor, and Andre Johnson would later go on to play in the NFL. His performance during the 2001 season gave him multiple awards including the prestigious Maxwell Award given to the best collegiate player every season, the Archie Griffin Award, and the Chic Harley Award. 

Dorsey would then go on to finish the 2002 season at an 11-1 record, losing the last game of the season to Ohio State after double overtime in the national championship game. He would once again be the recipient of the Archie Griffin and Chic Harley Awards and was named NCAA Quarterback of the year for the second year in a row. Finishing his collegiate career at 38-2, Dorsey became renowned as the best Hurricane quarterback ever and was admitted among the legends in the university’s hall of fame in 2013. 

“We’re going to play for a national championship and the reason we are is because of Ken Dorsey,” Former Miami Hurricanes Coach Larry Coker said in a podcast with the University of Miami.