Just how big is high school football in the state of Texas?
Big enough, apparently, for Division I-A North Texas to appoint the state’s top school boy coach as its head guy despite very little college coaching experience.
More telling: Nobody seems to think it was a bad idea. In a poll currently being run by the Dallas Morning News, 82 percent of voters think Southlake Carrol High’s Todd Dodge is a good hire. One person even wrote, “Good for UNT, but a step down for Dodge.” Even the writers think it’s a great idea.
Although bringing in a high school coach isn’t an unprecedented move (see Notre Dame’s failure with Gerry Faust) I’m pretty surprised more people aren’t making a big deal out of this. Prep sports have gone mainstream ever since LeBron James started producing better ratings than NBA games on ESPN; you’d think an Outside the Lines would be in the works discussing whether state championships could translate to D-I success.
To me, it’s seems hard to believe Dodge is going to turn UNT into a strong program. Of course that opinion comes from Connecticut, where we couldn’t fill a mini-van with D-I football players. He does have that going for him. He’s the best high school coach in the nation’s premier recruiting hot bed.
Without question, UNT is gambling. Now they’ll have to see if any of the state’s best are willing to follow suit and take the same chance on a rookie head coach.