UA volleyball player Whitney Dosty (second from right) celebrated her recent graduation with her father, ex-UA basketball player Robbie Dosty (far right), mother Toni and former UA defensive lineman Earl Mitchell (Dosty photo)
When Josh Robbins officially joins the Arizona football team in August, he’ll have more than his lofty aspirations in tow.
Like only a select few before him, Robbins will carry on the legacy of his father who starred for the Wildcats in an earlier generation.
Randy Robbins, an All-Pac-10 defensive back in 1983 and nine-year NFL veteran, is the proud father of Josh, who was instrumental in Canyon del Oro winning a state championship last season.
“Now that I’m going to Arizona, he’s really happy,” the younger Robbins told me in December after he verbally committed to UA coach Mike Stoops. “Arizona is where he really wanted me to go."
On this Father's Day, UA volleyball senior Whitney Dosty will reach out to her dad — former Arizona basketball standout Robbie Dosty — and let him know how important he is to her development as a human being first and foremost.
“My dad has had a huge impact on my life,” Whitney told me of Robbie, who played for the Cats from 1978-1981. “Without my dad, I would not be where I am today and doing the things that I love.
“He has impacted me through the motivations he gives me to strive to do my best and to go after the things that I want in life. He has always been there for me and showed me love and support.”
Josh Robbins (left) is following in some big footsteps left at Arizona by former All-Pac-10 defensive back and father Randy Robbins (Robbins family photo)
She added, “Love you, Pops.” Light words with a ton of meaning.
Another former Wildcat with a daughter competing at Arizona is former offensive lineman Charlie Dickey, also an ex-UA assistant coach who is now in the same capacity at Kansas State.
Tasha Dickey, a junior with the UA women’s basketball team, actually holds the distinction of being the daughter of a former UA male and female athlete. Her mother is Lisa Bradshaw, who played basketball for the Cats from 1983-85.
Other immediately known father-son combinations who have both competed at Arizona include Ron Hassey (baseball 1974-76) and Brad Hassey (baseball 1998-2001), Willie Peete Sr. (football 1956-59) and Willie “Skip” Peete III (football 1981-82) and Vaughn S. (also “Skip”) Corley (football 1953-55) and Vaughn S. Corley Jr. (football 1980).
These are some of the more modern combinations. During the school’s formative years, it was more common for one generation to the next to attend Arizona and represent the Wildcats.
The UA has also featured a number of coaches whose sons competed or coached for a Wildcat team, including Bill Baker, who played football at Arizona from 1973-76 when his father William Sr. was an assistant coach. Baker spent the past few years as the assistant director of operations for the program.
Other combinations include former UA football coach Dick Tomey and son Rich Tomey (baseball), Frank Busch and Augie Busch (both coach swimming and diving), and Mike Candrea and Mikel Candrea (both coached softball). Rich Tomey, Augie Busch and Mikel Candrea earned their bachelor’s degrees at Arizona.
Robbie Dosty has another daughter who played basketball at ASU after transferring from Tennessee — former Salpointe Catholic star Sybil Dosty. During his UA career, when he played for Fred Snowden, Dosty averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds in 68 games from 1977-1981. He led the Wildcats in rebounding with 6.6 a game in 1980-81. He was drafted by Golden State in 1981 but did not play for the Warriors.
The elder Dosty currently owns a merging and acquisition business for privately-held companies in Tucson called Robbie D. Dosty & Associates.
“What I would like people to know most about my dad is how much fun he is to be around and how much he loves his family,” said Whitney, an outside hitter who is a member of the USA volleyball women’s A2 national team.
Randy Robbins, who hails from Casa Grande, is currently a member of the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy. He had an obvious impact on his son’s development physically and on the football field. Josh Robbins, a defensive back like his father, was exposed to his father’s exploits while growing up because many of the elder Robbins’ friends are former UA football standouts. Among them are Ricky and Lamonte Hunley, two of the best linebackers in the school’s history.
“My dad teaches me a lot and keeps me motivated,” Josh Robbins told me. “Every time we play, he points out technical things, like how to get off the line against a corner that is pressing. He tries to make me a better player.”
UA junior basketball player Tasha Dickey gets a lot of her redeeming values from her parents, including her father, former UA offensive lineman and assistant coach Charlie Dickey
The Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported in 2007 that when Tasha Dickey was just a toddler, her mother took her down to the court at McKale Center and let her and her older sister run around.
“I told them, ‘Run in Mama’s footsteps!’ ” recalled Lisa Dickey. “She was 3 years old. I couldn’t wait.”
Tasha Dickey became a Ms. Basketball in Utah, when her father coached the Utes’ offensive linemen. Her sister, Jazmin, who ran around McKale that day, is a sprinter with Utah.
Tasha will be a junior for the Wildcats in 2010-11. She worked her way back into shape last season after redshirting in 2008-09 following foot surgery. She started 21 games as a freshman in 2007-08 and earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention.
Her father Charlie Dickey is one of the good guys to go through the Arizona football program, a quality human being. He is also a strong family man who has been forced to deal with a heavy dose of life’s hardships, including the death of 3-year-old daugther Chanel from a brain tumor in June 1998.
The Wildcats rallied around Dickey during the 1998 season in which the UA finished 12-1 and beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Manuia Savea, an offensive tackle coached by Dickey, told reporters preceding the Holiday Bowl that Arizona’s record was a reflection of the Wildcats coming together after Chanel’s death.
“A good family comes together when times are tough,” Charlie Dickey told The Arizona Republic before Arizona beat Nebraska. “My players did that for me, and my wife more times than I can even recount.”
Tasha was 9 years old when the tragedy occurred. Charlie and Lisa had two children afterward — Shyanne in 1997 and Charles Jr. in 1999. Charles Jr. was born with Down Syndrome and Tasha has taken him under her wing.
“It made my life when Charlie was born,” Tasha said in a 2007 Arizona Daily Star interview. “He’s an angel. We do everything together. It’s almost like he’s the same person, but he’s a boy. We understand each other.”
Judging from Tasha’s comment and personality, the family values that Charlie Dickey bestowed on his kids as a loving and caring father are remarkably evident.