Lisa Dorsey enters her seventh season with Auburn as the associate head coach and oversees the western discipline. In each of her first six seasons with the Tigers, Helfer has helped lead the Western team to winning seasons. Dorsey has helped the team earn top-four seeds for the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships four times and helped lead the Tigers to Overall National Championships in 2011 and 2013.
She has also played a major role in coaching top individual selections at the championships, including former reining riders Julie Gibbs (2008), Paige Monfore (2009), Lyndsey Jordan (2010) and Indy Roper (2010) in Horsemanship. Under Dorsey's leadership, in 2012 Stephanie Rucci took home the Most Outstanding Player award for reining, marking the second-consecutive year Auburn won the honor after Monfore took home the MVP title in 2011.
All-American honors were awarded to the riders for the first time by the NCEA in 2011, and Roper was the only rider in the country to receive first-team honors in both Western horsemanship and reining under Dorsey's direction. In 2012 Dorsey helped Roper to her second-consecutive reining All-American honor, as well as an honorable mention in horsemanship. She also coached Cheyenne Cracraft to an honorable mention honor in reining in 2012. In 2013, Roper was again a first team all-American in reining and Stephanie Rucci received 2nd team honors in horsemanship.
Dorsey has also seen her riders compete at the NRHA Collegiate Reining Championships (limited to the top 4 NCEA reiners in the country) every year since she began coaching at Auburn. Lyndsey Jordan competed in the event from 2008-10, winning the competition in 2009. In 2011, Dorsey coached both Paige Monfore and Kristin Hansen, and in 2012, Roper and Stephanie Rucci competed for Auburn in the event with Rucci finishing third overall. In 2013 Roper earned another trip to the Derby.
Dorsey has been working with and around horses for over 29 years. She graduated from the University of Findlay in 1998 with a B.S. in Western Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management and then completed her master's degree at Auburn in 2012 in adult education and sport management at Auburn University.
While at Findlay, Dorsey competed for the Western IHSA team as both an open horsemanship and reining rider. After graduation she went on to train and coach both youth and amateur riders. Dorsey has shown extensively in AQHA, NSBA, open and 4-H events, specializing in all-around competition. She has earned year-end awards in both the Ohio and Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Associations in Showmanship, Horsemanship and Equitation classes. She has also competed as an amateur and been a finalist at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress.
Dorsey has judged both open and 4-H competitions, and also spent five years as a
reproduction specialist managing some of the top reproduction facilities in Ohio and Florida.
Before arriving at Auburn, Dorsey worked at Miami University of Ohio where she was an
instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health and the coach of the Western IHSA equestrian team. During her two years as western coach she led the team to two regional championships, a zone reserve championship, a trip to the national semi-finals and a top-ten finish at the IHSA Nationals. She also coached the regional high point western rider consecutive years.
Away from the equestrian field, Helfer has played competitive ice hockey for over 30 years. She has traveled throughout the USA, Canada and Finland playing on both women's and co-ed teams. Dorsey (formally Helfer) married her husband Chris on May 25, 2013, and the couple resides in Opelika, Ala.