If it worked for Eric Taylor, why can’t it happen for Todd Dodge? Like the fictitious Friday Night Lights head coach, Dodge left a wildly successful high school job to test his mettle at the college level. Perhaps he could have succeeded with more time in Denton or an extended tenure as a coordinator, but whatever the hypothetical, the truth is Dodge fits walking a Texas prep sideline.
And on his return to coaching in his native state, Dodge’s Marble Falls quarterback Mike Richardson broke the Texas high school single game passing yardage record. Richardson’s 715 yards eclipsed Wichita Falls’ Dylan Sheffield’s 683, set in 2011.
He took the job at Marble Falls High after one season at Pittsburgh as Todd Graham’s quarterbacks coach. Prior to that, he’d been the head coach at North Texas for parts of 4 seasons, producing a 6-37 record. That’s a bit worse than Coach Taylor’s brief stint at TMU.
Dodge’s reputation went national at Southlake Carroll. From 2002 to 2006, the Dragons posted a 79-1 record, won 4 state championships and lost to perennial Texas powerhouse Katy in the 2003 state final. If clear eyes and full hearts provoked Taylor’s players to greatness, Dodge’s secret was his system. He installed the offense at the junior high level so athletes knew it inside and out by the time they took their first varsity snap.
He’ll do the same in Marble Falls, a single high school town of around 7,000 residents. Judging by Richardson’s output, his quarterback has a pretty solid grasp on the offense. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of his defense. Boerne Champion quarterback Kyle Poeske tossed for 595 yards in last night’s contest and unless there’s a Tim Riggins-type yet to appear at linebacker, Richardson might have to approach the state record on a weekly basis.