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From high school to FBS and back to high school football again: Todd Dodge's path

It's not often we write about high school transactions on this site, but it's not often that a coach carves a similar career path as Todd Dodge. 

After stints at Cameron Yoe, Carrollton Newman Smith and Keller Fossil Ridge, Todd Dodge became the head football coach at Southlake Carroll in suburban Dallas. A program with a history of success, Dodge led the Dragons into the elite of the elite in the sport, going 98-11 over seven seasons. From 2002-06, Carroll lost one game, a 16-15 stunner to Katy in the Class 5A state championship. The Dragons were an unthinkable 79-1 with four state championships in five seasons. They were the unquestioned "it" program in the state of Texas. When you're the "it" program in Texas, that means you're one of the "it" high school programs in all of America.

In 2007, Dodge was hired straight from Southlake Carroll to the head coaching gig at North Texas. It didn't work out. To say the least. His offense translated - the Mean Green were successful at putting up points and yards under Dodge - but nothing else did. Dodge went 6-37 and was let go seven games into the 2010 season. 

He spent the 2011 season as the quarterbacks coach at Pittsburgh, working under another former Texas high school football coach in Todd Graham, before returning to the high school ranks at Marble Falls in 2012. 

Dodge went 8-12 at Marble Falls, putting up a pair of 4-6 seasons at a program that apparently didn't have the stable of skill players his system requires. 

That's about to change.

Dodge has been announced as the new head coach at Austin Westlake on Friday. Westlake is one of the glamour programs in Central Texas, winning a state championship in 1996 and producing NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees and Nick Foles. It became the "it" program in the Austin area (at least until Lake Travis built its dynasty) in large part to former head coach and longtime athletics director Ebbie Neptune, who happens to be Dodge's father-in-law. 

“Coach Dodge brings a wealth of achievements to a well-established and historically successful program,” said superintendent Dr. Nola Wellman in a press release. “As a coach and leader, he exemplifies the character and values that are consistent with those of Westlake High School. His ability to instill those characteristics in the young men he coaches is admirable.”

Another aspect that makes Dodge a natural fit in Austin? His son, Riley, is currently an offensive special assistant at Texas. Riley Dodge played under his father at Southlake Carroll and then again at North Texas. 

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