There’s people who will probably read this headline and roll their eyes at the idea of the University of Texas hiring a high school football coach as their next offensive coordinator. Those same people rolling their eyes though also probably know shit about Texas high school football. So, let me give the haters a quick rundown on Todd Dodge.
Dodge first made his mark on Texas high school football early on in life when he became the first 3,000-yard passer in Texas high school football history. This feat earned him a scholarship at UT, where he played and started under Fred Akers from 1982-1986.
After graduating from Texas, Dodge went into coaching and eventually landed the head coaching job at Southlake Carroll. It was there Dodge turned himself into a coaching legend, leading Carroll to FOUR state titles between 2002-2006, where he was 79-1 in that span and 98-11 overall during his time at Carroll. That dominance catapulted him into a D1 head coaching gig at North Texas University. Unfortunately, North Texas is North Texas, and Dodge was eventually fired after 3 years and a 6-37 record.
In 2014, Dodge took over the reigns at Westlake High School. Prior to taking over, Westlake had been struggling to get back to the powerhouse level they had obtained in the late 90s, early 00’s. Known for his fast tempo, creative, high powered offenses, Dodge’s first move as Head Coach was naming sophomore Sam Ehlinger the QB1. At the time, naming a sophomore the starting quarterback at Westlake had never happened. That’s right, neither Drew Brees or Nick Foles started as sophomores at Westlake.
While the move turned heads amongst the Westlake community, Dodge and Ehlinger both never looked back. The very next year they took Westlake to the State Championship game. After that game, Ehlinger received a scholarship offer from Texas, where he of course has started the last three seasons.
As for Dodge, he will again be back in the 6A State Championship game this Saturday when Westlake takes on Denton Guyer. Win or lose that game, Dodge has now brought Westlake to their second State Championship appearance in four years, officially making Westlake back. And there is absolutely no doubt the sole credit for the revamped Westlake football program goes to Dodge.
Which brings us to today and why Todd Dodge should be the next offensive coordinator at the University of Texas.
First, his coaching record and the offensive stats his teams have put up year in and year out speaks for itself. I get people will want to point to his time at North Texas but it’s North fucking Texas. I guarantee if you put Nick Saban in as the head coach of North Texas you aren’t going to get any better results than what Dodge produced.
Also, don’t forget UT’s new defensive coordinator hire, Chris Ash, just went 8-32 during his time at head coach of Rutgers. So, don’t act like we are above hiring a coordinator with a horrendous head coaching record. And at least Dodge has since proven himself since his days at North Texas, unlike Ash who was just fired in the middle of this season.
Another reason to love Dodge as the next OC is there’s not a person on this planet who knows Texas High School football better than Dodge. He would absolutely CRUSH recruiting in Texas. You aren’t going to find a football coach in the state of Texas who doesn’t know and respect Todd Dodge. Which means he essentially would have a backdoor channel to all Texas recruits, with coaches campaigning their players to go play for him at Texas.
Lastly, there’s Ehlinger. Dodge was never just a coach to Ehlinger. He was a mentor and father figure to him, as he came into Ehlinger’s life shortly after Ehlinger tragically lost his father. With Ehlinger now going into his senior season and so much on the line, draft stock, Heisman, legacy, etc, there’s no one better equipped to help Ehlinger succeed then Dodge.
Texas so far has swung and missed big on their two high profiled offensive coordinator candidates; Joe Brady and Graham Harrell. It’s time for UT to swallow their pride and takes a chance on an under the radar coach. There’s been plenty of high school coaches who’ve gone on to succeed as college coaches (Gus Malzahn, Jeremy Pruitt, Art Briles), why is it crazy to expect that Todd Dodge can’t do the same?