Dan Dodd begins his fourth season as Tulane's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and enters his third year as an assistant head coach for the Green Wave.
In his third year, Dodd was handed the play calling duties on a full time basis and the result was the Green Wave's first-ever 1,000-yard rushing and receiving tandem in the senior duo of 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. Both players played in college football's postseason games, including Anderson in the East-West Shrine Game and Williams was named the South Team MVP in the Under Armour Senior Bowl.
Although Anderson and Williams have departed, a new star emerged under Dodd's tutelage in quarterback Ryan Griffin, who started the last six games of the season and was 118-of-175 for 1,143 yards with eight touchdowns. Griffin's completions, attempts, passing yardage and touchdown totals are the most by a Tulane freshman in school history.
Dodd's second season saw the emergence of another budding offense juggernaut with Doak Walker Award candidate, Anderson, leading the way on the ground and Williams developing as a go-to receiver. Through the first four games of the year, Anderson was averaging 122.5 yards on the ground, while Williams had 356 receiving yards on 24 receptions. Those two weapons led an offense averaging almost 400 yards per contest and a record of 2-2 with narrow losses to #13 Alabama and #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.
In his first season at TU, Dodd's offense was fueled by senior tailback Matt Forté, who rushed for a school record 2,127 yards, which 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, while Tulane's 2,412 total yards was the second-best effort in one season.
Dodd came to TU after nine seasons at the University of New Mexico, where he served as the special team's coordinator with additional duties of overseeing recruiting, wide receivers and kickers. Dodd was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for six seasons (2000-05), and was also the Lobos' passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under former head coach Dennis Franchione in 1996 and `97.
Dodd, 54, 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.
Dodd was a member of coaching staffs at New Mexico and TCU that produced four straight winning seasons from 1996-1999 and participated in three consecutive bowl games (1997-99). All told, Dodd has been to seven bowl games in 12 years.
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, `94) 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, the last two years as its head coach. Butler was 32-14 in those four seasons, including three Jayhawk Community College Conference titles.
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.
Dodd and his wife, Dayona, have a daughter, Anne, 22, and a son, Bobby, 17, and have two grandchildren.