Tanque Verde Names Former Arizona Wildcat Jay Dobyns Head Football Coach

Jay Dobyns (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Tanque Verde slowly climbed from an 8-man squad to a team battling in the 3A Conference against powerhouses such as Sabino, Safford, Pusch Ridge, and Sahuarita. The results have been mixed at best with only 24 wins since the program began in 2007 but the Hawks took a major step forward with the hiring of former Sahuaro and University of Arizona standout Jay Dobyns.

Former Tucson High basketball coach and current Tanque Verde athletic director Gary Lewis made the announcement at the school located on the far northeast side of town Monday evening in front of parents, players and the community.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“I am flattered that Superintendent (Scott) Hagerman, principal (A.J.) Malis and athletic director Gary Lewis have trusted me to run their football program at Tanque Verde High School.  I have been friends with Gary for over 40 years,” Dobyns said. “I am honored to join many of my friends in the fraternity of head football coaches in Tucson and Southern Arizona.  Our city and region have some of the best and smartest.  They are public servants to our youth.

“This game, and the people who coached me in it, shaped my life.  By becoming the head coach at Tanque Verde, I now have an opportunity to pay those coaches back by paying the lessons they taught me forward to my players. For me, it is all about the players.  The team will be their team.  I will serve as their guide.  We all have an enormous challenge in front of us.  Together we will do our very best to succeed.”


Dobyns becomes the fourth head coach in Tanque Verde history with Chip Stratton and Jim Lawwill coaching from 2007 to 2013 and Jeremiah Johnson from 2014 to 2019. The Hawks went 0-10 this past season and have never won more than three games in a year.

Dobyns was an All-State receiver at Sahuaro before moving on to play for Arkansas. Dobyns transferred to Arizona after his freshman season where he became an All-Pac-10 selection in 1983 and 1984.

More recently, Dobyns has been an assistant coach to Dennis Bene at Salpointe where he was a part of the Lancer’s success over the last six years.

Bene retired after this past season and Salpointe is joined by Cholla and Pueblo in the search for a new coach. Pusch Ridge announced the hiring of Kent Middleton last week.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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