On Nov. 17, I sat down for my lunch break. The weekend Lodi News-Sentinel had a small picture of Lodi High School's head coach, Todd Dillon, with his varsity football players on the front page with the small caption, "Dillon run over after 15 seasons." I turned to the sports section expecting to read all sorts of nice things about a good man and his accomplishments. Instead it said, "Fired after 15 years!" I was shocked.
How convenient to have it happen on Friday night after the students were let out for Thanksgiving break.
Our son benefited tremendously from Coach Dillon, his coach son and the whole coaching staff. It started with intense weight training and practice in the summer. Not only did our son benefit physically, but also mentally. He was beaming with pride, his self-esteem never better. He learned so much from Coach Dillon, not just about the game, but life lessons.
Mr. Dillon is more than a coach. He is a great role model, an honest man and a good father. We don't know each other personally, and I honestly don't know why he was fired. But I can tell you that he made a tremendous impact on our son and many other young men over the last 15 years.
Thank you, Coach Dillon. Your shoes are going to be hard to fill.