Dodge ends legendary career with third straight title; now focused on being Paw Paw

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Todd Dodge’s journey ends with gold.

In fitting fashion, it ends with a three-peat of gold.

It was how his legendary Southlake Carroll tenure ended before he became head coach at North Texas, and it’s how one of the most dominant runs in recent Texas high school football memory ends.

The 36-year veteran head coach capped off his storied career earning his seventh state championship Saturday night, 40-21, over Denton Guyer. Uniquely to the Chaps program, they won the 6A DII championship in 2019 before claiming the Division I title last year and then their second DII crown in 2021.

After being known for offense at Southlake, his Westlake teams started off with defensive prowess thanks to his protégé defensive coordinator Tony Salazar whom he brought over from his brief stint at Marble Falls. But over the last two years, Dodge crafted the perfect blend of shut-down defense with explosive offense thanks to his latest and perhaps greatest project in future Clemson star quarterback Cade Klubnik. His last two teams are perhaps the best of his storied coaching career.

“If you look at the quarterbacks he’s coached, it’s unmatched,” Klubnik said of his head coach’s career. "He's got to be at the top. I mean, seven state championships to finish his career. Back-to-back-to-back state champs, undefeated the last two seasons, I don't know how you can compare to that.”

Dodge said this three-peat admittedly felt different than his one at Southlake Carroll. Of course, that one was with his son, Riley, quarterbacking the team, but he remembered it moving by so quickly. Back in 2006, it was already close to Christmas and shortly after that, he was off to start his tenure at North Texas and was putting together a quick recruiting class before national signing day. He didn’t have a chance to soak in that accomplishment the way he will with this one, especially now that he has time.

“This one, I’m going to enjoy this one,” Dodge said.

Although he's calling it a career, it likely won’t be the last time he returns to AT&T Stadium. He mentioned how he expects to be back next season cheering on his son’s Southlake Carroll Dragons. He'll plan to watch the Jaden Greathouse-led Westlake Chaparrals looking to four-peat and even joked how he may even make his up to go see senior defensive back Carter Barksdale play lacrosse at Michigan next year.

Back in July when Dodge announced his pending retirement, he mentioned how once he told the news to his players, it was a solidified decision and there was no turning back. Saturday night, he sounded like a man content with that being the end to his story as a head coach – he was done.

“I’ve got three beautiful grandchildren right here in the DFW area,” Dodge said after the game. “I want to be a Paw Paw and be around those guys. I missed one hell of a flag football game from Tate (his grandson). My mother is 83 and she still knows who I am, and I want to spend as much time as I can with her.”


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