Arizona Football

Arizona, Sahuaro Legend Jay Dobyns Loading Tanque Verde Coaching Staff with Former Wildcats

Jay Dobyns, a former Sahuaro standout who was legendary at Arizona for being one of the top badasses to play for the Wildcats, is filling his staff at Tanque Verde High School with top former Arizona players.

Dobyns, who was hired in November to take over the program after serving as an assistant at Salpointe, announced today that former running back David Adams (another Arizona badass who graduated from Sunnyside), offensive lineman Jeff Kiewel (formerly of Sabino) and defensive lineman Julius Holt are joining his staff with the Hawks.

Adams led the Wildcats in rushing for three straight seasons (1984-86), ranking third in school history in rushing yards (2,571) and second in rushing attempts (600) as a member of the All-Pac-10 team. He was drafted by the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, played for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Raiders and later the CFL’s Hamilton TigerCats. 

At 5-6 and 175 pounds in his Arizona career, David Adams could bench press 360 pounds.

Kiewel was a first-team All-Pac 10 and honorable mention All-American selection in 1982. He played for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons earning a starting role in 1985 and with the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers.

He played defensive tackle for the Wildcats and starred on teams that upset No. 1-ranked USC in 1981 (in which he was named player of the game), No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend, and helped thwart sixth-ranked Arizona State’s Rose Bowl berth in 1982. He played at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C. before playing at Ellsworth Community College at Iowa Falls, Iowa, where he was the team captain and a Junior College All-American. Longtime president of the Tucson Youth Football & Spirit Federation, he was selected to the American Youth Football Hall of Fame as a coach and administrator in 2019. Julius is a retired school administrator.

TYFSF commisioner Julius Holt (Javier Morales/

Dobyns also let it be known that former Arizona defensive back Van Brandon is on his staff. Brandon was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter. He established his reputation as a vicious tackler and hard-nosed defender. He had at least one tackle in every college football game he played from 1978-81.

Former Sahuaro standout Jasic Walker has been added to Dobyns’ staff to assist Adams with the running backs. Walker also played at Mesa Community College before attending Arizoan. He has coached youth football in Tucson for 15 years winning city, state and national championships

Dobyns’ son Jack Dobyns, a standout at Salpointe before excelling at Chadron State (Neb.) College, is also part of the Hawks’ staff as the receiver coach. Douglas High School great Matt Vinson, who also went on to play at Chadron State, will fill the role as quarterbacks coach.

Jack Dobyns was the leading pass-catching tight end in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2016. He was on the RMAC All-Academic Team that year. Jack earned his degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Art and now works in the fitness industry.

Vinson graduated from Chadron State in 2018 after starting for three seasons. He was a graduate transfer to West Virginia Wesleyan playing football in 2018. He earned his degree in Exercise Science (with a 3.9 GPA) and now works as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Longtime Sahuaro and Santa Rita coach Bob Vielledent, a Pima County Sports Hall of Famer, will serve as a consultant.

Another former Sahuaro standout, John Williams, who coached at Salpointe the last decade at all levels, will be Tanque Verde’s associate head coach/defensive coordinator. He will also coach defensive backs.

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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