From the time he could walk, Ricky Dotson, assistant men’s basketball coach, has followed in his father’s footsteps on the basketball court.
Dotson said his entire family is filled with coaches. His father is a coach and his grandfather as well. Coming from a long line of basketball coaches, Dotson said being a coach has been more than a part of his life, it is in his blood.
“It’s one of those deals that have been in my family forever. I just kind of fell in line with all of it,” Dotson said. “I was just around it from the time I could remember.”
Dotson said he remembers watching the scoreboard was how he learned how to add. Dotson said he can remember being at games and when someone scored two points, he would think in his head if they scored the next two points it would be four.
Dotson went to school at the University of Texas in Austin and earned a bachelor’s in journalism. Soon after, Dotson began coaching at Lon Morris College in 1993 as the assistant basketball coach to his father, Dale Dotson. During his time at Lon Moris, Dotson was the assistant men’s basketball coach and the assistant athletic director.
Dotson joined the Wesleyan men’s basketball coaching staff Sept. 5 after Lon Morris closed their doors due to financial difficulty.
Dotson said coaching is not just about practice and teaching plays on the court.
“Ultimately it is teaching individuals, teaching students, teaching kids,” Dotson said. “What we learn on the basketball floor really goes beyond just playing. It’s learning life, its learning lessons that are going to help you further in life.”
Dotson said he hopes he teaches his players how to be a better husband, a better businessman and that he helps them do things in their future that maybe they can’t get from other places.
“I feel like I am able to have an influence on some guys that will help them later down the line,” Dotson said.
Dotson said his favorite thing about coaching is the relationships he ends up with.
“The relationships that I have been able to make through my career have changed my life, enhanced it,” Dotson said. “It is really, more than anything, the biggest influence on my life and my family.”
Brennan Shingleton, head men’s basketball coach, said Dotson is more than an asset to the team, he is like family to him.
“He is more of a friend than anything,” Shingleton said. “We are very good friends. We have shared a lot of experiences together.”
Shingleton said he and Dotson go back almost 20 years. Dotson recruited Shingleton to play on Lon Morris’ team straight out of high school.
“In the coaching profession you have very few close friends, just because of the competitiveness of it,” Shingleton said. “He is a very good friend that I trust dearly.”
Shingleton said Dotson brings a new perspective because he is an outsider.
“But, he has a unique ability communicating because he really adapts to these young guys,” Shingleton said.
Shingleton said their goal as coaches is not only to have their players become very good basketball players, but good citizens, good fathers and good husbands.
“He [Dotson] is a good level-headed guy,” Shingleton said.
He said Dotson understands the small-school environment and understands the team has to work hard to succeed.
“I 100 percent trust him,” Shingleton said. “And that’s a big deal.”
Jazz Holman junior mass communication major and guard on the men’s basketball team, said Dotson has been a great asset to the team.
“It’s going good,” Holman said. “I feel like he is looking out for us.”
Holman said this is his third year on the men’s basketball team at Wesleyan, and one of the things he likes about Dotson is how he has taught him to be more aggressive on and off the court.
“You got to do whatever you have to do to win,” Holman said.