As a kid, all Ricky Dotson only ever dreamed of being was be a basketball coach.
Dotson remembers going to practices with his dad, Dale Dotson, who was an assistant coach at the University of Texas. Dotson said he used to hang out at the gym and around the offices all day on Saturdays.
“As a young, impressionable kid, all of those experiences left an indelible mark on me. When I graduated from UT, I went straight into coaching and loved every second of it,” Dotson said.
Dotson said that growing up around sports had a profound impact on his career decision. As he continued in his career, he became really interested in the administrative part of athletics and education.
“I feel extremely confident that I’m doing exactly what I was meant to do,” Dotson said.
Dotson was named Texas Wesleyan’s athletic director in June after serving as an assistant coach for five seasons. He was referred to Wesleyan through his friend, head basketball coach Brennen Shingleton, five years ago.
Dotson enjoyed being an associate director and was thrilled that the opportunity came to be athletic director at Wesleyan.
As athletic director, Dotson’s main goal is to have successful athletes both in their sports and in their classes.
“One thing I hope is that our athletes are successful academically, because first of all, they’re here to be students,” Dotson said.
Dotson said that the main difference between coaching and directing is that as a coach, you are isolated to a specific sport, and do not generally associate with anyone outside of your team. As a director you deal with all sports and make decisions that affect everyone in the athletic department.
“From an athletic director’s standpoint, the thing I like most is I feel like I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on a greater number of people,” Dotson said. “The other thing that I like the most is the responsibility. The responsibility to know that I need to make the right decisions. That I need to do what’s best for everyone involved.”
Dotson’s most memorable moments at Texas Wesleyan were becoming the athletic director, when the men’s basketball team won the national championship in 2017, and when two golfers won national championships.
When not at work, Dotson enjoys traveling, playing golf, and spending time with his family.
“Any time I get a free moment and I can get to a golf course, I try to do that,” Dotson said.
Dotson did not play sports in college; instead, he took an academic scholarship at the University of Texas; he graduated in 1989.
“I did not [play college sports] and sometimes I really, truly kind of wish that I had, just to see how that would’ve turned out,” Dotson said.
He did, however, play basketball and golf all throughout high school in Corsicana.
“I played every sport growing up,” Dotson said. “When I got to high school I settled on basketball and golf.”
Growing up in Austin, Dotson was surrounded by family member who were coaches. His father, mother, and grandfather were all coaches.
“My father is Dale Dotson and he was a men’s basketball coach at the high school level and collegiate level (University of Texas and Lon Morris College),” he wrote in an email. “My mother, Sherrye Dotson, coached volleyball and track at the high school level (LaVega High School and Corsicana High School) for a number of years before moving into school administration. My grandfather was Floyd Dotson and coached boys and girls basketball at the high school level for over 40 years.”
Later in life, Dotson was still surrounded by family members who were coaches because his sister, brother, and brother-in-law were also coaches.
“My brother coached high school basketball at two different high schools and is currently the golf coach at Corsicana High School,” he wrote. “My brother-in-law, Jeremy Hubbard, is an assistant football coach at the Brook Hill School and my sister, Tiffany Hubbard, is the Cheerleader Coach at the Brook Hill School.”
Dotson got his first basketball coaching job in 1991 at Lon Morris College, which is in Jacksonville, just south of Tyler.
Shingleton met Dotson in 1994 when Dotson recruited him from his high school basketball team.
Shingleton said that Dotson has a good understanding of college athletics and displays great leadership skills.
“[Dotson] values the importance of winning,” Shingleton said.
Steve Trachier, associate athletic director and head women’s basketball coach, met Dotson when he came to Wesleyan from Lon Morris to coach golf.
Trachier says that Dotson works well with people and his ability to network with people is incredible.
“We are always looking for opportunities to expand in sports opportunities for women, and I think [Dotson] will take the lead on that,” Trachier said.