JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – Arkansas State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson announced Thursday that Dan Dodd, a 34-year veteran in the collegiate and high school coaching ranks, has been named the Red Wolves' tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator.
Dodd, who has coached in 10 bowl games and has playoffs experience at both the NCAA FCS and high school levels, replaces Keith Heckendorf on the A-State football coaching staff. Heckendorf recently accepted a position as the quarterbacks coach at North Carolina.
Dodd's journey to Arkansas State included NCAA FBS stops at Tulane, New Mexico, TCU and Utah State, while he also coached at FCS member Western Illinois, Butler (Kan.) Community College and four high schools located in California. He most recently spent the last three seasons as the head football coach and athletics director at Capistrano Valley Christian School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. He led the Eagles to back-to-back California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs in 2012 and 2013.
Dodd spent the previous four seasons (2007-10) as Tulane's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, including the final three years as assistant head coach for the Green Wave. His final season at Tulane saw the team rank 38th in the nation in passing offense with 245.8 yards per game, and he coached Freshman All-America and All-Conference USA choice Orleans Darkwa to a Green Wave freshman-record 925 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns.
The 2009 campaign saw Dodd's offense produce the Green Wave's first-ever 1,000-yard rushing and receiving tandem in running back André Anderson and receiver Jeremy Williams. Anderson ran for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns, while Williams made 84 receptions for 1,113 yards and seven scores.
Through the first four games of Dodd's second season, Anderson was averaging 122.5 yards on the ground, while Williams had 356 receiving yards on 24 receptions. Those two weapons led to an offense averaging almost 400 yards per contest and a team record of 2-2 with narrow losses to No. 13 Alabama and No. 13 East Carolina. However, the loss of both Anderson and Williams, along with seven other players to season-ending injuries, halted the offense for the remainder of the year.
Dodd's first season at TU, the offense was fueled by senior tailback Matt Forté, who rushed for a school-record 2,127 yards that also marked the seventh-best rushing performance in NCAA history. Under Dodd's guidance, the Green Wave's 201 yards per game on the ground ranked as the sixth-best single season effort in school history, and the team's 26 rushing touchdowns tied for the second most.
Dodd went to Tulane after seven (2000-06) seasons at the University of New Mexico, where he served as the special team's coordinator with additional duties overseeing recruiting, wide receivers and kickers. Dodd was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for six seasons. He was also the Lobos' passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under former head coach Dennis Franchione in 1996 and 1997.
Dodd followed Franchione to TCU after UNM's 1997 bowl season. He spent two seasons (1998-99) as the Horned Frogs' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before returning to New Mexico in January of 2000. Among the many standouts Dodd coached during his time at TCU was running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who set an NCAA rushing record with 406 yards versus UTEP in 1999.
Dodd was a member of coaching staffs at New Mexico and TCU that produced four straight winning seasons from 1996-99 and participated in three consecutive bowl games (1997-99). New Mexico won the Western Athletic Conference Mountain Division title in 1997 and played in the Insight.com Bowl. TCU defeated Southern California (28-19) in the 1998 Norwest Sun Bowl and 20th-ranked East Carolina (28-14) in the 1999 Mobile Alabama Bowl.
Four of UNM's five bowl appearances (1997, 2002, 2003, 2004) were directed by quarterbacks that Dodd mentored, including Graham Leigh, the WAC Mountain Division offensive player of the year in 1997, Casey Kelly, who guided the Lobos to consecutive bowl appearances, and Donald Sellers.
In 2005, New Mexico improved its offensive averages by 9.3 points and 99.4 yards a game from the previous season. Tailback DonTrell Moore became just the sixth player in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons while Moore and wide receiver Hank Baskett provided UNM with its first 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver in the same season. Moore earned Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.
The 2003 Lobos offense was one of the most productive in school history, leading the conference in scoring (30.1 ppg) for the first time since 1986. UNM finished 39th nationally with 400.5 yards in 2003, and its rushing average of 210 yards a game ranked 16th in the NCAA. UNM also led the league in red-zone offense efficiency, converting 90.2% of its opportunities. New Mexico placed four players on the all-conference team, its highest representation in 32 years.
Dodd initially came to UNM in 1996 after spending five years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. WIU was ranked in the Division I-AA Top 25 three times (1991-92, 1994) during Dodd's stay.
Prior to Western Illinois, Dodd was the running backs coach at Utah State for two years (1989-90). He also spent four seasons (1985-88) at Butler County (Kan.) Community College in El Dorado, including the last two years as its head coach. Butler was 32-14 and claimed three Jayhawk Community College Conference titles in those four seasons.
Dodd began his coaching career at high schools in Southern California. He was quarterbacks and receivers coach at San Clemente High School in 1980-82, running backs and linebackers coach at Santa Ana Mater Dei in 1983 and head coach at Long Beach St. Anthony in 1984.
A native of San Clemente, Calif., Dodd is a 1978 graduate of Drake University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Education. He set three school passing records as the Bulldogs quarterback, and was a co-captain in 1977.