Scott Dodge spent his high school career in the late 1990s chasing down fly balls and opposing wideouts with great success. He’s returned to San Luis Obispo County to teach a new generation how to do the same.
Mission Prep has hired the former Cuesta College and San Luis Obispo High multi-sport standout to be its next varsity baseball coach, five months after he joined the Royals football program as an assistant.
“We are thrilled and excited about Scott’s energy and knowledge of the game,” Mission Prep athletic director Bailey Brown wrote in a text message to The Tribune on Monday. “He was a fabulous addition to our football staff, and a great addition to our MCP family.”
Dodge excelled in both sports as a Tiger, eventually playing baseball at Cuesta and Texas in addition to a redshirt year of both football and baseball at Louisville. He also spent three summers with the San Luis Obispo Blues.
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Dodge echoed Brown’s excitement, and said getting his first chance to be a head coach in the same town in which he grew up makes it sweeter.
“It’s amazing to be home,” he said. “(Mission Prep football coach Chad) Henry called me and said he was looking for help on his staff and added that the baseball coaching spot might be opening up. Right then and there, I packed my bags and left Austin (Texas).”
While at Texas, he played for former Cal Poly head baseball coach Augie Garrido, and his one year at Cuesta was under current Mustangs manager Larry Lee.
Dodge was drafted in the 47th round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft by the San Francisco Giants as an outfielder. He opted not to sign with the Giants and instead took a scholarship to play for the Longhorns — then the defending national champions.
Dodge said what he learned from his coaches constitutes the core beliefs of his coaching philosophy.
“I don’t really care if we’re playing the New York Yankees or a random group of nine kids … it’s still baseball,” Dodge said. “You’ve got to do the fundamentals. Everybody plays by the same rules, and everybody has to make 27 outs.”
Dodge graduated from Texas in 2006 and helped his brother coach defenses for a pair of Los Angeles-area high school football teams in the late 2000s.
He’s hoping to take his entire career path as a player and turn it into a positive teaching lesson for Mission Prep athletes.
“I feel like everything happens for a reason, and I’ve been given this opportunity to pass on my experiences — good and bad,” said Dodge, who added his attitude got in the way of his progress as a player. “I want to show kids the right way to go about it.”
Dodge, who will name his staff in January, replaces Gerry Detz, who coached the Royals baseball team for eight seasons.
Dodge said he plans to continue working with the football team as a defensive backs coach in addition to his new duties. Focusing on multiple sports is nothing new to Dodge, and he hopes the Royals follow his lead.
“Hopefully, kids play multiple sports; this way I might get to coach them both times,” he said. “I want to try and turn them into the best true athletes possible, not just specific to one sport.”
Arroyo Grande 52, Santa Fe (Calif.) 41
The Eagles (10-5) got a game-high 16 points from Silver Division MVP Andrew Midyett to win the bracket title at the Las Vegas Prep Championship.
Arroyo Grande outscored Santa Fe 20-13 in the first quarter before the two teams combined for seven points in the second.
Cobe Williams scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and Quillan Smith had 10 points.
The Eagles open league play Friday at St. Joseph.
Mission Prep 69, Ponderosa 58
The Royals (9-4) led 36-20 at halftime and cruised to victory in the third-place game of the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau Division at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.
Quinton Adlesh led the way with 24 points, including four 3-pointers, and Ian Stake scored 15 points. Both were named to the all-tournament team.
Kyle Stewart (12 points) and Brandon Jones (11) also scored in double figures.
Both teams scored 22 points in the third quarter before Ponderosa outscored Mission Prep 16-11 in the fourth.
Inglewood 74, San Luis Obispo 56
Jonathan Edwards scored 21 points in the loss for the Tigers (2-8) in the National Prep Classic at St. Joseph High.
San Luis Obispo trailed 34-29 at halftime before being outscored 22-11 in the third.
The Tigers play Morningside today at 9:30 a.m. before opening PAC 7 play Friday at Pioneer Valley.
Lompoc 40, San Luis Obispo 17
Jessica Judge scored five points in the loss for the short-handed Tigers (7-3).
San Luis Obispo played without four varsity players and struggled against Lompoc’s full-court press, turning the ball over 27 times.
The Tigers start PAC 7 play Friday at Pioneer Valley.