GREENFIELD — This time, Roger Dodson is serious.
After retiring from teaching and coaching from Greenfield-Central in 2014, the long-time head football coach was asked to lead the Cougars one more season after a replacement was not found for 2015.
Dodson obviously obliged, signing up for one last ride.
And after a heartbreaking 14-12 loss to Delta in a sectional Oct. 23, Dodson announced he would officially resign again — for good this time — after 23 years of coaching and a 101-128 record. He spent the past 10 seasons (37-69) at the helm for Greenfield-Central, with previous stops as the head coach for Indian Creek and Franklin.
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“From the first day I got there (Greenfield), I enjoyed the kids, the faculty and the community itself,” Dodson said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve had the opportunity to coach some fine young men.
“Every Friday night something new happens, something you haven’t experienced before. Those Friday nights are pretty special.”
In his first year at the school, Dodson led the Cougars to the sectional title game and did so again in 2007. In 2010 (7-5) and 2011 (6-5) Greenfield-Central posted its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1974-75.
Prior to becoming a head coach, Dodson, who was the weight training teacher at Greenfield-Central, served as an assistant coach for 17 years at Lawrence North, Franklin, Muncie Central, Plymouth and Roncalli. He was an assistant at Butler University, where he played collegiate football and baseball after a successful high school career as a four-sport athlete at Bremen.
But when asked to pick a favorite football memory, Dodson replied, “I can’t pick one moment,” as he began to ponder and recount the many stops along his 40-year coaching journey.
Since Dodson was not on staff at the high school, he said this season was a little different than the previous nine. It doesn’t take long to build a routine — or completely wreck one.
“The biggest difference was not being in the building all the time and coming from home to do the coaching thing,” he said. “It’s a lot different when you aren’t there every day from 7:30 in the morning til when you go home.”
The Cougars finished just below .500 in Dodson’s last campaign with a 4-6 record after starting the season 2-0.
So what happens now?
“I’ve always enjoyed outdoor things,” Dodson said. “This time of year, there are a lot of days I would enjoy hunting as much as coaching. The coaching has taken a priority for 40 years now. Maybe next year I will have the opportunity to do things I enjoyed doing as a kid.”
However, the biggest item on Dodson’s agenda is to spend time with his wife Kathleen, who works as a nurse at Community Hospital South and is his biggest supporter. The two planned a trip to Hawaii last year when Dodson initially retired. They hope to make that trip in the next year or so.
Dodson also has three kids, Todd, Brock and Monica, but “no grandchildren yet,” he said with a laugh.
If the trip falls during football season next year, Dodson may have a hard time keeping his eye of off social media or the Internet, searching for the Cougars’ score.
“I want nothing but the best for all the players and coaches at Greenfield-Central,” Dodson said. “I hope they have success this next year and years to come. It’s been a good experience and opportunity for me.”