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Dick Tomey's family recently made an extended trip to Hawaii. It had been planned for a couple of years, to celebrate what would have been his 81st birthday on June 20.

Tomey died in May after a battle with lung cancer.

"Obviously, we went for different reasons," his son, Rich Tomey, said recently on Steve Rivera's Eye On The Ball radio show on 1030-AM The Voice. "But the family was all there and we ended up doing a memorial while we were there.

"We were able to spread his ashes out in the Pacific Ocean, which was kind of a surreal moment in itself. We had a really good family get together, and it was really special."

Rich and the family are back in Honolulu this week for Arizona's season-opener at Hawaii, the two football communities in which Dick Tomey was most beloved. He was the head coach at Hawaii from 1977-86 -- taking the program from a lower-division independent in the Western Athletic Conference -- and at Arizona from 1987 to 2000, when he became the Wildcats' winningest head coach and developer of some of their greatest teams.

"When you hear that name in Hawaii," said Warriors' defensive lineman Kaimana Padello, "you know that's a legend."

Rich Tomey and Dick's widow, Nanci Kincaid, will be honorary captains for the game for the pregame coin toss. Tomey alums from both programs will be on the field as well; the school offered free tickets to anybody who played for him.

"He was part of people's lives in bigger ways than just this weird shaped ball," Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich said in a video on the school's website. "He was a father figure for a lot of guys, and they loved him for the rest of his life."

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Rich Tomey is the executive director of the Arizona chapter of the Positive Coaching Alliance, which held a fundraising dinner in Hawaii on Tuesday. The organization has founded the Dick Tomey Legacy Fund and created commemorative T-shirts in Dick Tomey's memory that will benefit the fund. You can find ordering information here.

Rich Tomey was 7 years old when his dad took over at Hawaii.

"I think looking back, my fondest memory was the first time I was able to go on the field and walk him around on his headsets," Rich told Rivera.

"They don't have the cord-carrier any more. That's like the lost art. That's where I famously told everyone that it was like walking a dog. I did a TV interview one year on the news, and the guys asked me what it was like walking around with your dad, holding the cord. And I said, it was like walking your dog.

"When I was old enough to be able to be on the field and stand there with him and follow him around and listen to the plays, that was really a fond memory for me. That was something I did for most of my younger days, and then they went to wireless and I was out of a job."

Arizona will be wearing "DT" stickers on the backs of its helmets and recently renamed its practice fields in Tomey's honor. The school announced that the naming presentation, as well as a dedication, will be completed and take place later this season on a date to be determined.

"The things they are doing is really cool," Rich said of Arizona. "We're going to be doing more stuff in Tucson. Whatever we can do to help keep him around is good with me."

WATCH: Dick Tomey interview from 1981