From Playing to Coaching The Game


Angela Martinez, Writer

Tony Dodge has been coaching for over nine years. He became head coach of Nipomo High School football team in 2015, taking over for Russ Edwards.

Dodge attended San Luis Obispo High School, graduating in 1998. Edwards had even coached Dodge during his junior varsity years.

Dodge then attended Santa Barbara City College where he played receiver and then ended up getting a scholarship to play football for Chapman University.

Not only is Dodge the head coach, but he is also a physical education teacher too.

“I like to distract myself with other things and not just focus on football all the time,” said Dodge.

Dodge has had quite the experience of being able to coach at many different schools. He had first coached at Fountain Valley High School, Golden West Community College, Corona Del Mar and Garden Grove High Schools.

He had came to Nipomo High School in 2012 but took 2013 off yet later came back in 2014.

In 2014 Nipomo had gone to their very first CIF Championship and even got that big win, playing against Arrowhead Christian, score of 22-19.

“That was probably the greatest football moment I’ve ever had, being able to have been part of such a big moment. I was beyond proud of my team that night and still am,” said Dodge.

This year, Dodge has had a different outlook of playing and keeping everything safe.

“We don’t plan on playing dirty or getting to that level that other schools tend to get to,” said Dodge.

They want to focus on running good plays and building up formations plus sportsmanship in order to receive that win they always strive for.

“Coach Dodge has made an impact on all of us, he may not notice it but he has. One day we’ll look back on these days,” said varsity player Jacob Holm.

Before and after the games, Dodge likes to give the team an inspirational speech.

“Giving them that boost of energy and telling them to play as if its their last game, for a lot of them it’s a countdown because they are seniors,” continued Dodge.

“Dodge has probably been one of the best coaches I’ve ever had, not only is he your coach but he turns into a friend as well,” said  varsity player Ronald Flores.

Coach Dodge has made such a big impact not only for students but for many football players, and hopefully, he continues to be that influence for as long as possible.