One of the most glorious runs in Texas high school football occurred in the Fort Worth suburbs in the early 2000s, where coach Todd Dodge led the Southlake Carroll Dragons to four state titles between 2002 and 2007. They developed future college stars and NFL draft picks like quarterback Chase Daniel. The Dragons were perennial USA TODAY Super 25 powers, the proverbial bullies of a region of Texas that is annually one of the toughest, most competitive and difficult places in the country for a high school football team to be successful.
Under Todd Dodge, the Dragons did it every … single … year. So perhaps it was no surprise that after ousting head coach Hal Wasson due to a series of performative violations, Southlake school officials were at least somewhat interested in bringing back the good old days by sparking a reunion with Dodge.
In fact, according to reporting from Bill Jones of Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dragons were much more than casually interested in phase 2 of the Todd Dodge experience. In fact, they got very, very close to an actual agreement with the veteran coach before he decided at the last minute to stay put where he’s at.
In the end, that may have been the critical factor in Dodge’s decision. The coach has been the head man at Central Texas power Austin Westlake for the prior four seasons and has continued the Chaparrals’ remarkable run of success. That’s a hard perch to leave. Westlake is one of the state’s most lucrative districts and can afford to pay Dodge whatever it needs to retain him. Dodge went to college at Texas, just miles away. By all accounts he likes life in Austin, and he can compete at a state and national level every single year.
So how did Southlake Carroll make a play to pry Dodge loose from Westlake’s clutches? Apparently by offering him something more than just a coaching role:
That’s a unique twist, and one that lines up with Dodge’s role at Westlake; he serves as both the football coach and the Athletic Director for Eanes School District (the name for Westlake’s district, which contains no secondary schools except Westlake). The role would have been a lateral one nominally, so the motivation for a Dodge return would have had to be monetary, or for nostalgia’s sake. Maybe both.
That doesn’t matter now, with Dodge confirmed as the present and future head man at Westlake, for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Southlake is left to wonder what might have been (again), with some in the district now calling for what could only be considered drastic measures at the high school level: