Eye on the Ball Radio Show

Eye on the Ball: Arizona Wildcats Great, Tanque Verde Coach Jay Dobyns Talks of Challenges in Life and Sports

Eye on the Ball on KVOI (1030-AM) on Tuesday night featured former Sahuaro High School and Arizona standout Jay Dobyns, the new head coach at Tanque Verde High School.

Dobyns talked about Ricky Hunley, a former All-American teammate at Arizona who was a guest on Monday’s show.

Dobyns, a former federal agent, was our choice for the No. 1 badass on offense in Arizona football history. Co-host Steve Rivera, of AllSportsTucson.com, touched on Dobyns’ toughness of being able to take a vicious hit, stand up and execute his route with no problem on the next play.

Jay Dobyns will be a first-year head coach at Tanque Verde this fall (Tanque Verde photo)

“When you’re surrounded by players who are bigger than you, faster than you, stronger than you, are more athletic than you … I knew I had to find my role,” Dobyns said. “If I wanted to play … If I wanted to get on the field and stay on the field, I had to have a role.

“My role was that control receiver, that third-down guy. I ran a lot of routes in the middle of the field. I didn’t catch a lot of balls over my shoulder and run into the end zone and celebrate with the cheerleaders and fans. I tried to make plays that gave other players those opportunities.”

Dobyns discussed the toughness of quarterback Tom Tunnicliffe, who played two years with a fiberglass cast on his non-throwing hand and he never missed a game, and the era of Arizona establishing itself in the Pac-10 under Larry Smith in the early 1980’s.

He also talked about his new challenge at Tanque Verde, which was 5-35 over the last four seasons, with an all-star cast of assistant coaches.

“I was very comfortable as a football player,” Dobyns said. “I was very comfortable as a federal agent. I was very comfortable as an assistant for 10 years at Salpointe High School working for Dennis Bene. I am uncomfortable as a head coach.

“But I tell my kids all the time, ‘We have to learn how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.’ It’s a huge, huge challenge for me personally as well as my kids.”

Dobyns said his challenge at Tanque Verde is to solve problems through communication.

His staff includes defensive coordinator John Williams (formerly a Salpointe assistant), consultant Bob Vielledent (former Santa Rita and Sahuaro coach), receivers coach Jack Dobyns (Jay’s son), quarterbacks coach Matt Vinson (former teammate of Jack’s at Chadron, Neb., State), and defensive assistant Jay Williams (John’s son who played at Brown),

Three others have Arizona backgrounds: defensive backs coach Van Brandon, offensive line coach Jeff Kiewel (Sabino grad) and running backs coach David Adams (Sunnyside grad).

Here is the interview (Eye on the Ball can be heard via a live stream on KVOI.com weekdays at 6 p.m.):

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