After 26 seasons, 223 wins, and six Texas high school football state titles, Todd Dodge will add one final chapter to his storied head coaching career after he announced that he will retire at the end of the 2021 season on Thursday morning.
“Got a lot of emotions,” Dodge said to reporters on Thursday morning. “But I’m here this morning to announce that I will be retiring from Westlake High School and Eanes ISD as the athletic director and head football coach at the conclusion of the 2021 football season.”
Dodge, who is set to coach his eighth season at Westlake, has won back-to-back state titles with Westlake the past two seasons to add to the five consecutive state title game appearances and four state titles he earned with Southlake Carroll from 2002-2006.
“I just want to thank the media for the great relationship we’ve had through the years,” Dodge said. “I want to thank all the parents of the players that myself and my staff have coached over the last eight years. [And] I want to thank [Eanes ISD Superintendent] Dr. Leonard; we’ve had a tremendous partnership.”
His coaching career has taken him all over the state of Texas. His first head coaching job came in 1994 at Cameron Yoe. Over the next six years, he spent two years apiece with the Yoemen, Carrollton Newman Smith, and Keller Fossil Ridge before being hired at Southlake Carroll in 2000, a move that kicked off arguably the most successful stint of his career.
He won 98 games at Southlake Carroll in seven seasons as the head coach, including the aforementioned five consecutive state title game appearances. That success gave him the opportunity to coach at the college level at the University of North Texas, but four seasons there yielded just a 6-37 record and led to his dismissal. After a year as the quarterback coach at the University of Pittsburgh, Dodge returned to his roots as a high school football coach in Texas, taking a job at Marble Falls in 2012.
Two years later, he traveled down Texas State Highway 71 to take the job at Westlake, beginning what will end up being the final chapter of his coaching career.
And what a final chapter it has been. Dodge has won 88 games, including two state titles, in his seven seasons as a Chaparral.
He also made history when he and his son Riley became the first father-son duo to square off as head coaches in the state title game when his Chaparrals faced Riley’s Southlake Carroll Dragons for the 2020 6A Division I state title. In the end, father got the bragging rights over son in the Dodge Bowl as Westlake came away with a 52-34 victory and Dodge’s sixth state title.
And while he has had an impact on thousands of players throughout his coaching career, several Chaparrals under his watch the past seven years have gone on to play or are set to play at the next level including Longhorns Sam Ehlinger and Breckyn Hager, Duke signee Nick Morris Jr., and Clemson commit Cade Klubnik.
But now after 34 total years in the coaching profession and 26 seasons as a head coach, Dodge decided that it is time close the book on one of the most memorable coaching careers in Texas high school football history.
“The conversation about this decision has been going on for the better part of a year,” Dodge said. “And it’s right. It’s the right time.”
See photos from Stan Martin of the 2021 Westlake State Champion Ship Win: “Austin Westlake Chaparrals State Title: Championship Game Photos”