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Southlake Style

SS Archive: Todd Dodge Southlake's 2006 Citizen of the Year

May 05, 2014 02:53PM ● By 16560

Todd Dodge on Southlake Style's March/April 2007 Cover as Citizen of the Year.

Mentor, respected, successful and dedicated; all words used to describe Southlake’s 2006 Citizen of the Year award recipient, Todd Dodge. Annually, the Southlake Chamber of Commerce welcomes nominations from the community at large for an individual or organization that has played an integral part in enhancing the Southlake community. Nomination forms are then reviewed by the Chamber’s board of directors who look for the nominee with the most impressive body of work focused towards community leadership and volunteerism for the economic, civic and cultural well-being of Southlake.

Dodge now reigns as the most recent recipient, following the paths of other prior winners including SPIN, Pieter Andries Hye and Greg Last. Naming Dodge to this honor was no easy task as he was amongst 8 finalists who are all highly regarded city leaders and business professionals with equally impressive entrepreneurial minds and giving hearts. Names we all know and admire were among the final 8 for Citizen of the Year Honors; Brian Stebbins, Roxann Taylor, Kerry McGeath, Tommy Pennington, Liz Hendricks, Dr. Shereen Miller and Ann Wise.

It is quite easy to recognize the accomplishments which have elevated Todd Dodge to the top tier
of national high school football coach- es. After accepting the head coaching position in 2000, Dodge and his staff led the Dragons to a 98-11 overall record which included back-to-back- to-back 5A Texas state championships and 4 state championships in the last 5 years! Such an impressive record beckoned the national stage to take notice, which they did by honoring him as National Coach of the year two years in a row (Shutt Sports in 2004 and USA Today in 2005).

NFL coaching legend Bill Parcels proves he knows Dodge well when he says, “he has built a team and a philosophy that has staying power. In my personal dealings with him, I was impressed with his knowledge of the game, his dedication to the profession and his desire to succeed.” Qualities such as these indeed make Todd Dodge a great coach however; it’s his underlying philosophy which has bred this year’s “Citizen of the Year”.

Get to know Dodge personally and it is just as easy to see why he is so well respected beyond the fortress that is Dragon Stadium. It is not just the record, the titles, personal awards or the 25 plus Division I football sign- ings that make Dodge this year’s most celebrated citizen. It is the philosophy of who Dodge is and what he does that has enabled him to transcend into the ranks of community leader in one of the most community oriented cities in the country.

His philosophy seems quite simple yet inexplicably elusive in today’s society, “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” If you’re one of his play- ers you know you will always have his respect, his word and a true partnership or the benefit of the team. If you are a CISD parent you know your child will have a role model of the highest integri- ty. And if you are a community based organization you can expect he will match your enthusiasm and do what he can to help the cause.

For the past 7 years, the young men of Southlake have learned the teachings of Coach Dodge and his staff. Teachings which remind them they are members of a team that is much greater than any one individual. Dodge says “I’m most proud of how year in and year out the kids continu- ously raise the bar and develop as a team where star players don’t get too big headed and role players buy into their specific roles.” These lessons are learned as early as pee-wee and for many continue beyond high school and into adulthood. Dodge lets his players know that his door is always open when they come home for a visit. He says “come by and see us...after you’ve seen your momma.” 

Dragon DE Kyle Russo says “I learned to give 110% and keep going.” Keep going he will, as he and LB Justin Padron have both accepted 4 more years of Coach Dodge’s teachings as scholarship players for the University of North Texas (UNT). Dodge gra- ciously admits, “It means a lot to me that players of their caliber continue to see the values and sense of worth in the program we’ve built together and that we will work to put together at UNT. They are both fabulous players that could have gone a lot of different

places but they wanted to stay aboard with myself and my staff.” Dodge con- tinues to say that “in the future we hope to get even more players from the Carroll program because they are Champions, and we want Champions playing for us at North Texas.”

What does Coach Dodge mean to the community?

Giovanna Phillips, President of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce says “The impact of Coach Dodge to CISD and its students is immeasurable. He’s shown the importance of charac- ter to individuals and institutions and provided students with life lessons that they will be able to carry with them throughout their lives. He’s been a mentor, leader, and no doubt a friend to so many. He is proof that nice guys finish first!”

Successful real estate agent and Carroll Dragon parent Carol Russo says “Southlake is really blessed to have a leader and representative like Coach Dodge. He speaks at the Chamber of Commerce, local meetings as well as on the national coach’s cir- cuit. Coach Dodge and his staff are responsible for raising men of charac- ter. That is why the Dragons are suc- cessful on the football field!”

Coach, what does the award mean to you?

When asked about his thoughts on being named 2006’s Citizen of the Year, Dodge humbly stated “People know the kids are good for our pro- gram and we are good for them. I’ve really grown to call Southlake home because of the community’s attention to detail, the attitude that it takes a vil- lage to raise a child and the trust that we all put in one another to success- fully raise our children.”

Ultimately Dodge says “it is a sense of pride to have my name, along with my coaching staff, associated with such an honor in such a well respected community.”

We all feel the same sense of pride in our association with you. Congratulations Coach!