Dotson, six-time state champion, doesn't 'like sitting still'

Kevin Mays • Mar 26, 2020 at 8:30 AM

WISE — Robin Dotson’s record is not debatable when talking about the top girls basketball coaches in VHSL history.

The high school league hall of famer has six state championships, five at Wise Central and one at the former J.J. Kelly.

He also has coached three state runner-up teams, has nine state final four appearances, 10 regional championships, four regional runner-up trophies, 19 district championships and six district tournament championships.

Dotson, who has 655 career wins, has also coached two teams to perfect seasons, one in 2002 (30-0) and one in 2015 (29-0).

The most successful girls hoops coach in far Southwest Virginia has another state championship ring, as well. Dotson was an assistant coach on the Kelly baseball team when it won the VHSL state title in 2008. His son Matt played on the team.

Dotson also coached his daughter Sarah when Central won three girls basketball state titles in 2015, ’16 and ’17.

“I’m very blessed to have those experiences,” Dotson said of being able to share state title moments with both of his children.


With all of his coaching success, Dotson is not resting. He stays busy in his basketball coaching duties, as well as many other facets of his life.

“I’d rather wear out than rust out,” the veteran coach posted on his Twitter account this week.

“I don’t like sitting still,” he said.

Dotson is in his second year as the women’s golf coach at Virginia-Wise.

“It doesn’t interfere with basketball because the golf championship is in the spring,” he said.

Dotson, who took the position in March of last year, has been hard at it ever since.

“We’ve got three recruits that have signed, and we’re talking to three or four girls for the upcoming year,” he said. “That will give us a full team for the first time in school history.”

Dotson has also worked in the recent past as a golf coach and a track coach at Central.


In addition to his coaching and teaching duties, Dotson has been a Realtor for the last five years.

“It gets a little better each year,” Dotson said of his work that he planned on having a “retirement job.”

After 36 years of teaching, Dotson said he’s still not ready to call it quits.

“I still enjoy coaching and I still enjoy teaching, and I’m not interested in quitting,” he said.

As far as the real estate work, Dotson said he always tries to do his best for his clients.

“I just try to treat people fairly and work hard for them, just like in everything I do,” Dotson said.


Whether it’s coaching or real estate or in the classroom, Dotson has one goal in mind.

“I have to be the best I can be at everything I do,” the coach said. “Whether it’s on the basketball floor or in class or being a dad or being a husband, I have to be the best I can do and be the best I can be. Sometimes that’s difficult to do with so much going on, but I still have to try.”


The self-quarantine demands of COVID-19 have brought most everything to a stop in Southwest Virginia, including all prep and collegiate sports and the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

“It’s forced me to slow down some,” Dotson said. “I’ve got some things to do around the house that have been neglected, if it will ever stop raining for a while.”

While he may not be able to be physically in coaching mode right now, he definitely is in the mental coaching mode.

“When I’m sitting around, I’m thinking about things that I need to be doing,” Dotson said. “You always have to plan for the off season and the upcoming season. I’m fine tuning right now.

“The kids are that way, too,” Dotson said of his players, who went through a rebuilding year last season. “They want to get better. We weren’t a bad team. You just have to be really, really good to win in the Mountain 7 District.”

When the COVID-19 threat eases and things begin to return to normal in Southwest Virginia, there’s no doubt that Dotson will be one of the first heading out. He will have plenty of things to keep him busy.

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