Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More Glory to the Green?

As I went through my email inbox tonight after a long day away from the computer, I noticed that a few messages were from my alma mater, UNT. The first one said that a new football coach would be named tonight (you may recall that the previous one, Darrell Dickey, was dismissed rather unceremoniously right before the end of the season). A few messages later, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the job is going to Todd Dodge, the most successful high school coach in Texas at the moment.

If you follow high school football at all, the name of Dodge will be a familiar one; he's head coach of the defending state champion Southlake Carroll Dragons, who are 96-11 during Dodge's tenure, 77-1 since the school was elevated to Class 5A, and two games away from yet another state championship. UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal had this to say at the press conference tonight:
"The goals and standards that Coach Todd Dodge has established for his football programs are exemplary, as evidenced in his record of successes and national reputation," Villarreal said. "He has a passion for the Mean Green, and we are confident that he is the coach to elevate North Texas’ football program."
But even though Dodge's recent success has been at the high school level, he's no stranger to college football or to UNT, having served as the Mean Green's offensive coordinator in 1992 and '93.

I for one am really excited about this hire, and I hope that it will bring Mean Green football back to its glory days of a few years ago (when the team ran roughshod over the Sun Belt Conference and attended four straight New Orleans Bowl games) and beyond. (And it would also be cool if Carroll's junior quarterback Riley Dodge decided to follow his dad northward for the '08 season.) I've been a non-attending fan of Carroll football for a while now, and this makes me ponder the thought of attending their playoff game against Allen this weekend.

Some thoughts from other area coaches (from the email I received tonight):
Bill Parcells, Dallas Cowboys head football coach
"From someone who has followed Todd's accomplishments for the past few years, I would say he is a coach who knows how to put together a successful operation and compete at a high level for an extended period of time. He has built a team and a philosophy that has staying power. In my personal dealings with him, I was impressed with his knowledge of the game, his dedication to the profession and his desire to succeed."

Mack Brown, University of Texas head football coach
"Todd is a credit to both the University of Texas and the high school coaches in this state. He's a great coach and an even better person. A coach is a coach at any level, and Todd understands the role of the coach. He's had a lot of success and touched a lot of lives, and he is going to continue to do that. It will be a great fit for him, and North Texas is lucky to have him."

Gary Pinkel, University of Missouri head football coach
"This is a great hire for North Texas. Todd Dodge is obviously a proven winner and a great motivator of young men. His offensive knowledge and his development of young quarterbacks is as good as anyone I've ever seen. I'm sure he will have great success and be a tremendous asset to the university."
UPDATE: Read a nice profile of Dodge from the Dallas Morning News.

It's the principal of the thing, part 1: A school principal in New Jersey promised to spend the night on the roof of the school (and shave the school's logo into his hair) if his students read 10,000 books in a specific period of time. The students did, and the rooftop campout took place on a night when temperatures plunged into the 20s. (He's all thawed out now, and none the worse for wear.)

It's the principal of the thing, part 2; An Albuquerque high school principal could face charges for taking a student to get a haircut without asking the parents' permission.

It's the principal of the thing, part 3: A former Catholic school principal has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual exploitation for kissing three students' feet last spring; he claims it was simply a payoff for losing a bet on a student/faculty volleyball game.


Gary P. said...

And it would also be cool if Carroll's junior quarterback Riley Dodge decided to follow his dad northward for the '08 season.

Do you really think Riley's going to go anywhere else? Once he goes pro, look for dad to jump to the NFL as an offensive coordinator, QB coach, or something like that wherever the son winds up. UNT is just a stepping stone for Todd to get that college experience on his resume before getting an NFL job.

Are there any indications Riley had a Todd Marinovich childhood, or did he grow up normal.... or at least as normal as it can be when you're the starting QB for Carroll and your dad's the head coach?

Kev said...

I don't know, Gary; nothing I've ever read about Todd screams "merecenary" in the least, and I've been following him in the papers since he was the quarterback at UT back in the day. Some of his previous stops on the coaching trail have not exactly been football juggernauts: Cameron Yoe, Newman Smith, Fossil Ridge. He's obviously found a way to succeed wildly with his system at Carroll, and now there are a lot of us North Texas exes who hope he can replicate that with the Mean Green.

As for Riley, I doubt that few outside of Southliake even knew the coach had a son who played quarterback until this year; it's notable that every QB he's coached at Carroll broke his own state passing records. The guy seems as down-to-earth as you can get; read this profile of Dodge in tomorrow morning's paper.