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Open Door Policy

Todd Dodge • Southlake Carroll HS (TX)
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AFM:What was the feeling like when you were named head coach and in charge of the Southlake Carroll program?
TD: I’ve competed against Southlake Carroll over the years and I was truly honored to be named head coach. Like the University of Texas, there is tremendous tradition here and I was honored and humbled about the job. At the first spring booster club event I attended I remember the slogan: ‘Protect the Tradition.’ It meant a lot.

AFM: Tell me how your office is used...staff meetings, visiting with recruits, watching tape, phone and computer time?
TD: A little of everything...we have a meeting/board room outside the office where I meet with our coaches...My day is pretty full during the season:

6:30-7:30am: I get in at this time and map out our offense and script practice for the day.

7:30-9:00am: I oversee the athletic program at an adjacent middle school campus and review where we are.

9:30-11:30am: This is the time I’m in my office and attend to administrative matters and phone calls but watch video as well.

11:30-12:30pm: A break for lunch.

12:30-1:15pm: I meet with our quarterbacks during the season and spend some time talking strategy with them and watching video.

1:15-2:30pm: I’m in the school building and may met with the principal or guidance counselors.

2:30-3:00pm: We have our daily ‘Character Curriculum which involves how coaching can change lives.

3:00-3:30pm: Position meetings with the coaches.

3:30-3:45pm: Special Teams practice.

3:45-5:45pm: Actual practice (we may practice under the lights on certain nights).

AFM: Any interesting anecdotes from meetings in your office?
TD: Former Michigan and NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh was in recruiting our Strong Safety Brea Galbreath. He is the coach of the University of San Diego, a D I-AA school in the Pioneer Conference. I was amazed at how down to earth and unassuming he was and interested in how to rebuild a program.

AFM:What coaches that have influenced your career have visited with you in your office?
TD: My coach at Texas, Fred Akers, has stopped by often – he was a great motivator, a no nonsense coach, and got the most out of his players. My high school coach at Thomas Jefferson in Port Arthur – Ronnie Thompson – has come by as well as other outstanding high school coaches.

AFM:What are some of the treasured items you have in your office?
TD: I have my family photos with my wife Eizabeth, son Riley and our daughter Molly. Also, there are the five photos of each team I’ve coached and a #l jersey that’s framed that says ‘National Champions.’ There are also photos of the school’s five state championships under the words ‘Tradition Protected’ as well as a panoramic photo of our new stadium.

AFM: If you’re only allowed to take one item from your office, what would it be?
TD: A photo of a trip we took when our kids were younger – my son and daugther were probably 9 and 3 at the time... if I could I’d also take the photos of the three quarterbacks I’ve coached in my five years here – Ricky Lay, Chase Wasson, and Chase Daniel. Lay is at West Point, Wesson at Texas State, and Daniel will be a freshman at Missouri.

AFM: If you could invite three coaches into your office for a meeting – living or dead – who would they be?
TD: Jimmy Johnson, Steve Mariucci, and Vince Lombardi... Johnson is from my home town and has always had a great feel for evaluating talent while always assembling great assistant coaches. From a quarterback standpoint, I think Mariucci has a great feel for the game. I heard him speak when he was Quarterbacks Coach at Green Bay and he was very impressive. Lombardi had a great historical perspective, knew how to push the right buttons in motivating his team and reaching their potential.

AFM: If you could start over once again and learn from one coach, who would it be?
TD: Pete Carroll... I’ve got great respect for him.

AFM: What thoughts and advice would you give to the person that eventaully will replace you?
TD: Take pride in keeping up with what came before you. Don’t let any egos get in the way. Be true to the tradition of the school and honor that tradition.


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