Dickey talks tough

Talk about jumping on an opportunity. Keith Gilbertson called former Arizona line coach Charlie Dickey to talk about a possible coaching change happening at Montlake. By the end of the day Dickey was in Seattle and already knee deep into his newest coaching challenge. Coach Dickey talked to Dawgman.com for a few minutes about the whirlwind of events that have found him in a new home coaching a new group of linemen.

"That's how glad I was," Dickey said with a laugh Wednesday night, just finishing his first full day as Washington's offensive line coach. He replaces Brent Myers, who left after three short weeks to tackle a similar position at Arizona State.

Mike Stoops was hired by Arizona on December 1st, and soon thereafter Dickey was without a job, a job he held in Tucson for 12 years. "I'm really excited for Coach Stoops," said Charlie. "When he came in he made the decisions he had to, that was it. But as an alumnus of Arizona, I'm excited for him and his staff to see if they get it done and I'm going to be rooting for them in every game but one.

"So after that happened, you start making your calls and people are calling you, but I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I couldn't have asked for a better place to be at. I'm really excited about being at Washington. When you play in the conference and coach in the conference like I have, you look to Washington as being in the upper echelon."

Charlie knows at least a couple of current and former Washington coaches well. "Well, Ax (Steve Axman) was my OC when I played at Arizona, so I go way back with him," said Dickey. "And with Coach (Scott) Pelluer, who I coached with at Arizona. We had a great time."

Dickey was the 'Cats OL coach for 11 years before moving to tight ends in 2003. "I've been around a lot of great coaches at Arizona," he said. "I had the chance to be around Jim Young, a Hall of Fame coach, who taught great discipline, organization and motivation. And I was a GA under Ron McBride, who was a great motivator and really taught toughness. And I was definitely influenced by Dick Tomey, who taught toughness and team-building, building relationships with the people around you."

When you think of Arizona football from the outside, you think of all those great defenses - 'Desert Swarm' being just one. You don't think too much about how potent or explosive UA offenses have been in the past. "When we were good, we were a tough, physical team that ran the ball," Charlie said. "We made a commitment to the running game and we tried our best to keep our defense off the field."

Under his watch, players like Frank Middleton (Raiders), Edwin Mulitalo (Ravens), Makoa Freitas (Colts), Yusuf Scott (Cardinals) and Kevin Barry (Packers) made it to the NFL, among many others.

Wednesday afternoon was Dickey's first opportunity to witness first-hand the raw material he'll have to work with. Mat drills gave him a sense of what's to come, as well as a positive first impression. "There's a lot of motivation going on, a lot of guys out there working hard and looking to get better," he said.

"But right now I have to learn the offense and just get acclimated to things here with my players. That's what it's all about - building relationships, getting to know the players better."

Dickey worked the JUCO ranks, especially in Kansas, as well as Southern California and Arizona for the Wildcats. "Mainly the Inland Empire, places like Riverside and San Bernardino," he said.

And don't expect Charlie to be looking around. "I'm a really loyal guy and I enjoy coaching a lot," he said. "I'm not out there looking for the next best chance. I've got aspirations like anyone else, but I'm not out there looking for that. When it happens, it happens. I like the idea of being in a place where my family can grow. My family comes first."

His family, which includes his wife Lisa, three daughters, Jazmin, Tasha, Shyanne, and a son, Charles J., are expected to make it to Seattle shortly. "Hopefully they'll be up here soon," said Dickey. "We've got some things to take care of in Tucson first."

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