Dallas Colleges: Mike Canales

Riley Dodge leaving North Texas

January, 4, 2011
Quarterback Riley Dodge has played his last down at North Texas.

Dodge, the former Southlake Carroll High star, told ESPNDallas.com that he will transfer from North Texas. His departure comes months after his father, Todd, was fired in midseason after going 6-37 in three-plus years as the Mean Green’s head coach.

“It just came down to me getting a fresh start,” Dodge said. “I’m very grateful for what North Texas has done for me.”

Dodge, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, plans to go to Football Subdivision Championship program with a passing offense. The list of schools he is considering includes Stephen F. Austin, McNeese State, Southeastern Louisiana, James Madison, Missouri State, Villanova and Delaware.

Dodge, the two-time Class 5A offensive player of the year, was one of the most heralded recruits in UNT history. He had orally committed to Texas, where he likely would have played receiver, before changing his mind and deciding to play again for his father, who had built Southlake Carroll into one of the best dynasties in Texas high school football history before being hired by UNT.

However, Dodge’s career at North Texas was marred by injuries, beginning with a broken right clavicle suffered in his final high school game. Dodge dealt with so many injuries to his throwing arm that he was moved to receiver last spring, only to return to quarterback after season-ending injuries to starter Nathan Tune and backup Derek Thompson.

Dodge threw for 1,212 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions while starting seven games at quarterback last season. He also rushed for 253 yards and a touchdown on 79 carries. He suffered a concussion in the season finale and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was released within an hour.

There was concern in the spring that Dodge would need Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, but he said it’s as strong as ever.

“I want to play quarterback,” said Dodge, who threw for 3,187 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 754 yards and six touchdowns during his UNT career. “I feel like I’ve got two good years left and just want to get a fresh start. My arm feels great. I’ve been throwing a lot. And I know I’m a quarterback.”

Dodge said his decision had nothing to do with new UNT coach Dan McCarney. He praised McCarney and associate head coach/ offensive coordinator Mike Canales, who served as interim coach after Todd Dodge’s dismissal.

Dodge added that he had no regrets about his decision to attend North Texas, although his experience there certainly didn’t unfold the way he had envisioned.

“I don’t regret a thing,” he said. “It’s just my time to go.”

UNT's McCarney hires three assistants

December, 15, 2010
New North Texas football coach Dan McCarney made his first official hires to his staff Tuesday: Clint Bowen (defensive coordinator and safeties coach), Nick Quartaro (assistant head coach, wide receivers coach) and Mike Canales (associate head coach, offensive coordinator).

North Texas keeps Mike Canales

November, 30, 2010
DENTON -- Dan McCarney’s first move as North Texas head coach was to hire the man who wanted his job.

Mike Canales, who had a 2-3 record as the Mean Green’s interim coach after Todd Dodge was fired, will be McCarney’s associate head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. McCarney and Canales are reuniting after working together at South Florida in 2007.

“I’m really ecstatic to have him,” McCarney said. “He can coach anywhere in the country. Mike is a real talented guy and I’m just real glad that he wanted to be here and be a part of building something special here at North Texas.”

Canales, who came as the offensive coordinator last spring, built a case to be considered as Dodge’s full-time replacement. The Mean Green (1-6 when Dodge was fired) doubled its scoring average after Canales took over as the interim coach. UNT scored 33.8 points per game with Canales in charge despite playing with third- and fourth-team quarterbacks.

Canales’ tenure as head coach ended with a 49-41 loss to Kansas State, when UNT almost pulled off a comeback over a Big 12 foe in the Fouts Field finale.

“It gave me an opportunity for five games to showcase what Mike Canales is about and how I could turn a program that was basically lifeless on its back – let’s be honest – and create some identity and some passion for the game again,” Canales said. “I think they showed it on the field in how they played as a team and how we performed. The last game speaks for itself. I think one of the biggest things it showed is that the kids believed in Coach Canales. I know I’m ready to be a head coach.

Canales, however, is happy to work for McCarney. They’ve kept in touch since their season working together, and Canales made a trip to Florida to pick the brains of Urban Meyer’s staff for a day when McCarney was the associate head coach.

Canales said that, if he didn’t get the head coaching job at UNT, he hoped McCarney would be hired. They had a brief conversation Tuesday morning, quickly agreeing that Canales would remain in Denton.

“The energy level is going to be unreal around here,” Canales said. “I go like you can’t believe and he goes at the same level. We don’t need coffee. We don’t need Coke or Diet Coke. We just go. That’s one thing about us. You’re going to get two guys who have such passion and desire and drive. A lot of good things are going to happen.”