Tanque Verde assistants Jack Dobyns, Matt Vinson hired by Odessa (Texas) High School

Tanque Verde High School’s emerging status as a football contender was enhanced this week with the hiring of assistant coaches Jack Dobyns and Matt Vinson by the Class 6A program at Odessa (Texas) High School.

Dobyns and Vinson, former teammates at Chadron (Neb.) State and part of the Hawks’ staff under Jack’s dad Jay starting in 2020, will coach at the highest level of high school football in the talent-rich state of Texas.

Jay Dobyns, a former Sahuaro High School and Arizona standout at wide receiver in the Larry Smith era, mentioned that he told his Class 2A team this message about his son and Vinson heading to Texas to coach this fall:

“Small school coaches are often looked down on. This was not the case for us. Odessa shares Ratliff Field (19,000 capacity) as a home stadium with (powerhouse program) Permian. The big boys came in and were smart enough to see these ‘small school’ coaches are as good as anyone, anywhere, any level, any state.”

Jack Dobyns, a former Salpointe Catholic standout who was Tanque Verde’s wide receivers coach, and Vinson, the quarterbacks coach and strength & conditioning coach, did not apply for the openings on the Odessa staff. Odessa is in the first year with Dusty Ortiz as the head coach after the program went 0-7 last season in the COVID-19-shortened schedule.

“They were not seeking opportunity to leave,” Jay Dobyns mentioned in a message. “This was spur of the moment and took place just this week.  They were recruited based on their exceptional talent.  They earned and deserve this.

“The bad news is their departure.  I cannot sugarcoat that. The good news is they continue to serve us as personal examples of what we preach —  Live your best life — Lean into challenges — Bet on yourself — Faith. Family. Friends — Dream Big! Expect to be great.  Those ideals are real.  Follow that in your own lives and be willing to get outside your comfort zone.  Taking great risks is often followed by great rewards.”

Tanque Verde is coming off a 3-0 record in Jay Dobyns’ first season as coach. The Hawks had lost 15 straight games dating to 2018 and were outscored 743-82 in that stretch before Jay Dobyns was hired.

The program is also in the process of having its stadium’s turf resurfaced thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Arizona Cardinals and the NFL Grassroots program.

“On a personal level, I am sad to see my coaches and two of my best friends leave,” Jay Dobyns stated. “But my joy for their happiness and chance at even greater success outweighs that.  I am so proud of them I that I don’t have a vocabulary broad enough to express how I feel. 

“They are off to a new adventure.  It’s a bit dramatic for me because my son is leaving and my adopted son as well.  Being a dad isn’t always easy.”

Matt Vinson (above) and Jack Dobyns were college teammates (Chadron State photos)

Jay Dobyns added of Odessa approaching his son and Vinson: “I am not threatened by that, I’m flattered.  It is an indication of how well respected we are becoming at Tanque Verde.  My staff is unmatched. I am proud of that.”

Jay Dobyns said he will make no changes or additions to his existing staff, which is stocked with former Arizona football players David Adams, Chris Lopez, Scooter Sprotte, Van Brandon and Jeff Kiewel. Here is the staff:

  • Jay Dobyns, head coach, offensive coordinator. 
  • John Williams, associate head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.
  • Rocco Bene, linebackers and special teams coach.  
  • Chris Lopez, defensive line coach
  •  Jay Williams, defensive quality control coach.  
  • Van Brandon, defensive quality control coach.
  • Jeff Kiewel, offensive line coach.
  • Scooter Sprotte, running backs coach.
  • David Adams, offensive quality control coach.
  • Bob Vielledent, staff consultant.

Tanque Verde’s season starts Aug. 27 with a home game against Laveen Heritage Academy.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District

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