Averaging a little over one win a season is simply not going to cut it in college football, no matter where you are. That is why Todd Dodge has reportedly lost his job at North Texas, plain and simple.
There may be some sympathy for him today because his team is 1-6 after losing 14 players to major injuries, including its top three quarterbacks. But Dodge was on the hot seat well before the season began, when athletic director Rick Villarreal essentially said Dodge has to win seven games or else.
Instead, Dodge ends his career with a 6-37 record midway through his fourth season as head coach, simply unacceptable for a program that used to win. A lot. Former head coach Darrell Dickey won four Sun Belt Conference titles from 2001-04 with a 25-1 conference mark. But after back-to-back losing seasons, North Texas decided to go in a different direction.
Way different. The Mean Green hired Dodge, who had limited experience as an assistant at the college level. Sure, he had won plenty at Southlake Carroll, one of the more dominant high school teams in Texas. He became coach Dec. 26, 2006 -- three days after he won his fourth state championship in five years. Dodge led Southlake Carroll to a 79-1 record over his final five years -- the only loss came in the 2003 state championship game by one point.
Though he came to popularize the spread in high school football in Texas, he simply could not get the job done on the collegiate level. He simply did not have the college experience, and neither did many of his assistants, who were also former high school coaches.
He may have piled up some high offensive numbers, but the wins never came. He went 2-10 his first season, then 1-11, then 2-10 last season.
Offensive coordinator Mike Canales takes over as interim head coach. The former USF assistant was hired this past season to help bring more experience to a staff that was sorely lacking in that area. Dodge is the second coach to be fired in season, joining Tim Brewster at Minnesota.
Who could be next? Watch for New Mexico coach Mike Locksley, whose team is 0-6. He has won just one career game there in his second season as coach.