DENTON, Texas (12/2/09) - University of North Texas Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal announced Wednesday that Todd Dodge will remain the head football coach and will return in 2010 for his fourth season.
"I have met with Coach Dodge and discussed in great detail the current status of the football program and what my expectations are going forward," Villarreal said. "While I recognize that progress has been made in certain areas, I believe that in the fourth year of the program success on the field is imperative."
UNT President Gretchen M. Bataille reiterated support for Dodge.
"When we hired Coach Dodge we knew that it was going to take some time to grow the football program," Bataille said. "In addition to the natural challenges of taking over a program, Coach Dodge also was faced with unique obstacles, such as inheriting a loss of football scholarships. We believe we need to give him adequate time to turn the program around."
Dodge will be entering the fourth year of a five-year contract that he signed when he became the head coach at North Texas in December 2006.
"While I am undoubtedly disappointed in the final record of this year's team, I have seen signs of improvement that validate my belief that we can turn this program around," Dodge said. "We were one of the youngest teams in the Sun Belt Conference this season and with 19 starters returning next year, we will have the experience to get us over the hump in close games like the ones we lost this season."
North Texas was 2-10 in 2009, but six of those losses came by a touchdown or less. Those six losses included four games that were decided by four points and one game that was lost by one point in double overtime. Four losses were to teams that will play in bowl games following the conclusion of the regular season, and three of those teams (Ohio, Troy and Alabama) currently sit at the top of their respective conference standings.
The Mean Green improved in nearly every statistical category from 2008 to 2009. Offensively, scoring improved by over six points per game while total offense improved by 45 yards per game and rushing offense jumped nearly 60 yards per game. The defense saw similar improvement with scoring defense dropping 12 points per game, total defense down 70 yards per game and both rushing and passing defense dropping dramatically.