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Football First

Oct 01, 2013 01:31PM ● Published by tina

Now One of the Top Football Coaches in the State, a Carroll Athletic Giant Returns Home

By Robert Halliman

Upon entering Dragon Stadium for the very first time this September, Dane Johnson quickly noticed that his alma mater’s new home field was solely dedicated to football.

“It’s incredible,” said the 1994 Southlake Carroll graduate. “I just love how the home-side structure sits, and I like that there is no track. Everything is right here — the fans and the team are a lot closer together.”

One of Carroll’s most decorated athletes, “Great Dane” Johnson earned three state championship rings during his days as a Dragon. Two of them came from football during back-to-back undefeated seasons (1992 and 1993) where he was named a first team all-state running back and defensive back. His third ring came as a starting guard for the basketball team during the 1992–1993 season. A well-rounded athlete, Johnson was a four-sport letterman who also excelled in baseball and track.

After perfecting his craft as an all-conference safety at Texas Tech University, the self-proclaimed “coach’s kid” returned to Texas high school football. Considered one of the top young coaches in the state, he assumed the role of head coach at Flower Mound High School in 2012. Soon after making the move, he was called back to his Southlake roots, this time as a member of the 2013 class of the Carroll Athletic Hall of Honor along with former teammate and retired Houston Texans kicker Kris Brown.

“I think it’s a wonderful way to keep the tradition going,” Johnson said of the efforts made by Athletic Director Kevin Ozee and others to create the Hall of Honor. “Recognizing the talent of that year but at the same time connecting to the past, it’s a stroke of genius and a great accomplishment for the school. I know the names of those coming next, and most of them will be in the NFL. I didn’t make that, so it is an honor to be part of it all.”

When it comes to the possibility of coaching against his former high school, Johnson said it’s not likely unless it occurs in the playoffs.

“If I’m coaching against Southlake, that means we had a very successful season, and that would be great,” he said. “Every job I’ve ever had, everyone looks up to Southlake’s model. With all the great achievements, I see why people want to be like that. The kids and the town take pride in being successful — it’s great to see your alma mater doing well.” 

Robert Halliman is a senior journalism major and political science minor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn. A 2010 Carroll Senior High graduate, Robert played defensive tackle for coach Hal Wasson from 2007–2010.  An aspiring sports agent and media personality, Robert is also a member of the Lehigh University Business Careers and Entertainment Club. 

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