'I'm Starting Immediately': Todd Dodge on his return to coaching and why Lovejoy is the perfect fit

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Texas High School Hall of Famer Todd Dodge is returning to the sidelines after two years in retirement to take over as Lovejoy's next head coach.

“About mid-football season of this season and going into the playoffs I kind of knew I wanted to get back in," Dodge told Dave Campbell's Texas Football. "I’ve been close to things watching a bunch of (Southlake) Carroll games and I’ve been watching games on HUDL to keep my mind sharp and stay on tops of things, so I knew I wanted back in. I feel like I got some gas left in the tank."

Dodge, a seven-time state champion, replaces Chris Ross, who departed earlier this month to become the offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin University. Ross led the Leopards to the regional finals three times in his four seasons.

Dodge’s record as a head coach in Texas High School Football is among the best in the history of the game as he holds a 233-72 overall record with a 7-2 record in state championship games. He coached Southlake Carroll to state titles in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and he coached Austin Westlake to state titles in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He also led Carroll to a state runner-up finish in 2003 and Austin Westlake to a runner-up spot in 2015.

Dodge has also served as head coach at Cameron Yoe, Carrollton Smith, Keller Fossil Ridge and Marble Falls. He also spent time in the college ranks as an assistant coach at North Texas from 1992-1993. He served as the Mean Green’s head coach from 2007-2010 and he spent 2011 as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh.

He takes over a Lovejoy squad that posted a 12-2 mark a year ago, falling to South Oak Cliff in the regional finals for the second time in three years. 

“The corridor there in Collin County is really where my wife and I were looking to spend the rest of retirement in because it’s close to our grandchildren," Dodge said. "Then, all of a sudden, a really good job opens and it sits right in the middle of the area. We just felt like it was an answer to a prayer. I want to be around as much as possible for my grandchildren. I’ll blink and they’ll be in high school, so being close is huge and it fits our family.

"Lovejoy has been very successful academically and athletically. The administration, specifically Dr. Kordel (Lovejoy ISD Superintendent), has been unbelievable. Her and her leadership team are locked arm-in-arm with the athletics side of things. The interview process was maybe the best I’ve been a part of.

Dodge will start his new gig on Monday.

“I’m starting immediately," he said. "We have realignment this week and I’ve got to start getting to know the kids.”

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