CHARLOTTE, NC – The Panthers have filled their position coach roster for the 2013 season by welcoming back a coach, promoting a coach and hiring a new coach.
Jim Skipper will reprise the role of running backs coach he held from 2002-2010; Ken Dorsey has been promoted from pro scout to quarterbacks coach; and Al Holcomb has been named linebackers coach.
Previously, the Panthers promoted Mike Shula from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator and elveated Ricky Proehl from assistant wide receivers coach to wide receivers coach. The Panthers could still hire an offensive quality control coach and an assistant special teams coach to assist Richard Rodgers, who held that role last season until being promoted to coordinator midway through the season.
After a two-year stint with the Tennessee Titans, Skipper is returns to Carolina for his 10th season as running backs coach with the Panthers. Skipper, who is entering his 27th NFL season, also served as Carolina’s assistant head coach from 2006-10.
DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart thrived under Skipper’s tutelage. In 2009, the duo became the first in NFL history to each rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same year – a year in which Carolina established a team record for total rushing yards with 2,498.
That team record had previously been set in 2008 when Williams rushed for team records of 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns. Stewart, meanwhile, set franchise rookie records for rushing yards with 836 and touchdowns with 10.
During his tenure in Carolina, Skipper coached 10 starting running backs, and eight of them produced at least one 100-yard outing.
While Dorsey embarks on a new role after spending two years scouting opponents as well as free agents and prospects on other NFL rosters, he already is quite familiar with the Panthers’ starting quarterback. After Carolina made Cam Newton the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Dorsey helped train him at IMG Academy during the NFL’s work stoppage.
A successful quarterback in his own right, Dorsey played six seasons in the NFL following a standout collegiate career at the University of Miami. The winningest quarterback in school history, highlighted by a national championship following the 2001 season, Dorsey was a two-time finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
A seventh-round draft pick of San Francisco in 2003, Dorsey spent three seasons with the 49ers and then three seasons in Cleveland, starting 13 games as a pro. In 2006, he was the Browns’ third-stringer behind backup Derek Anderson, now the Panthers’ backup. Dorsey completed his playing career in the Canadian Football League in 2010 and then entered coaching.
Holcomb comes to Carolina with nearly two decades of coaching experience, including the last four with the New York Giants. He was a defensive assistant for the Giants the past two seasons after spending two seasons as defensive quality control coach.
A 1993 graduate of West Virginia University, Holcomb coached on the collegiate level from 1995-2008 before joining the NFL. The Giants ranked in the top seven in total defense in two of Holcomb’s four seasons and capped his first season as defensive assistant with a victory in Super Bowl XLVI.
Holcomb began his path to the pros by taking part in the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship with the New York Jets in the summer of 2007. He was defensive line coach at Lafayette at the time and helped the Leopards lead the Patriot League in total defense and scoring defense in his final season before the Giants hired him.
Senior writer Bryan Strickland and staff writer Max Henson contributed to this report.