Arizona Football

NOTES: Former Arizona Wildcats as Head Coaches at 37 After Tanque Verde’s Hiring of Jay Dobyns, Marcus Bell Wins First State Title at Round Valley

The hiring of Jay Dobyns increases the number of former Arizona Wildcats as head coaches to 37 after another former Arizona standout — Brandon Sanders — resigned from his position at Pueblo High School.

Speculation exists that Sanders may coach at a different high school in Tucson or possibly join Kevin Sumlin’s staff at his alma mater. We should know the answer soon.

Dobyns, a Sahuaro grad who played at Arizona under the late Larry Smith from 1982 to 1984, is the third coach in Tanque Verde history with Jim Lawwill coaching from 2007-13 and Jeremiah Johnson from 2014-19. Dobyns faces a tall task: the Hawks went 0-10 this past season and have never won more than three games in a year.

(Jay Dobyns photo)

After transferring from Arkansas to Arizona after his freshman season, Dobyns, a wide receiver, became an All-Pac-10 selection in 1983 and 1984.

Dobyns has been around the Salpointe football program for the last six years, as an assistant on the junior varsity team before joining the staff of former Lancer coach Dennis Bene this past season.

Dobyns is one of eight former Arizona football players who is presently a head coach.

Some notes:

— Former Arizona linebacker standout Marcus Bell coached Eagar Round Valley High School to its first state title in his nine years at the school, winning the 2A championship 34-28 last night over Phoenix Christian. Bell has a career record of 80-26 at Round Valley. He coached the school to state championship games in 2013, 2016 and 2018 but came up short.

“To be here this many times and finally do it (win), it’s awesome,” Bell told the Arizona Republic. “But you got to give credit to those kids and our coaches. We have a great coaching staff. We’ve stuck together for eight years since we’ve been doing this and it’s paid off. It’s just great.”

— The two former Arizona women’s basketball players now coaching — Maryland’s Brenda Frese and Arizona’s Adia Barnes — have each of their teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Frese’s Terrapins are rated No. 9 while Barnes’ Wildcats are No. 20.

— Arizona hoops legend Damon Stoudamire has coached Pacific to an 8-3 start with one of the losses a triple-overtime defeat against Boise State at home on Nov. 23. The Tigers’ record marks the program’s best start since the 2013-14 season, when they posted a 9-2 record through the first 11 games of non-conference play.

Mike Bibby is off to an 8-1 start at Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix. How much of an impact did Bibby have on Phoenix Shadow Mountain’s program? Six of his former players are on Division I rosters.


List of head coaches of various sports and different levels who competed at Arizona. Compiled by
NameUATeam SportStart
Adia Barnes1995-99ArizonaWomen's hoops2016
Heidi Bomberger-Bruschi1993-97Attleboro (MA) Feehan HSVolleyball 2020
Matt Brase2003-05Pallacanestro Varese (Italy)Men's hoops2022
Robert Bonillas1995-98Desert View HSFootball2012
Tod Brown1990-94New MexicoBaseball2022
Casey Candaele1979-82Buffalo (AAA) Blue JaysBaseball2021
Jackie Coburn2002-05Scottsdale Horizon HSSoftball2013
Clark Crist1977-80Pulaski (VA) River TurtlesBaseball2021
Debby Day1989-91Cal-LutheranSoftball2002
Shelley Duncan1999-2001Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) YankeesBaseball2023
Byron Evans 1983-86South Mountain HSFootball2020
Terry Francona1977-80Cleveland IndiansMLB2013
Tanya Farhat-Villarreal1994-97West Bend (WI) Slinger HSSoftball2015
Brenda Frese1989-93MarylandWomen's hoops2002
Kristie Fox2004-07UNLVSoftball2017
Margo Geer2011-14AlabamaSwimming/Diving2020
Chip Hale 1984-87ArizonaBaseball 2022
Jason Hisey1988-91Canyon del Oro HSBaseball2019
Jack Howell1983Tri-City (A) AngelsBaseball2021
Krista Humphreys1993-96Corona (CA) Centennial HSSoftball2015
Mark Keel1979-82Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap HSFootball2000
Steve Kerr1983-88Golden State WarriorsNBA2014
Andy Litten1999-03Scottsdale Horizon HSFootball2021
Hunter Long2013-15Douglas HSFootball2019
Caitlin Lowe2004-07Arizona Softball2022
Brandon Manumaleuna1997-00Lawndale (CA) Leuzinger HSFootball2020
Jennifer Martinez-Walls2008-09Abraham Baldwin (GA) JCSoftball2017
Craig McMillan1984-88Santa Rosa (CA) JCMen's hoops2000
Richard Mercado2002-04Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei HSBaseball2019
Leighton Milton1992-93Hollywood (CA) HSFootball2020
Edwin Mulitalo1995-98Southern VirginiaFootball2018
Ronnie Palmer2005-08Monterrey Peninsula (CA) JCFootball2020
Jose Portilla1996-97Heritage AcademyFootball2017
Rebekah Quiroz2002Pima CCSoftball2019
Colt Sedbrook2006-08Crown College (MN)Baseball2024
Jason Stewart1997-99Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito HSBoys hoops2014
Damon Stoudamire1992-95Georgia TechMen's hoops2023
Rafael Valenzuela2008-10Bowling Green (A) RaysBaseball2023

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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.

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