Top amateur golfer named coach

Steve Dodson excited for chance to give back to Steamboat Springs Sailors

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Golfer Steve Dodson's record as a player speaks for itself.

He's been crowned Steamboat Springs city champion five times, finished in the top 10 in the amateur division of the Colorado Senior Open and is a level III certified instructor with the United States Golf Teachers Federation.

But this year, the veteran golfer will enter a new role in his golfing career when he takes over as the coach of the Steamboat Springs High School golf team.

"On a scale from one to 10, he's a 50," Haymaker professional Hank Franks said. "He is the best amateur player in this town. He grew up playing junior golf, and he is absolutely the right man for the job."

Dodson, who owned the Old Town Shirt Co. on Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat for 12 years before selling it in 2001, is not only an established golfer at the amateur level, but has held a position with the Steamboat Springs High School Golf Committee since it was established in March 2003.

The committee members, which include Dodson, Park Smalley, Tom Taylor, John Vanderbloemen, Scott Berry, and Rob Hawkins, organize the annual Steamboat Sailor Shootout and find other ways to fund the team -- which is a nonfunded tier II sport at the high school.

"I just hope that what I have to offer is beneficial to the kids I encounter, and if they take just one thing from me then I will have succeeded," Dodson said

The new coach doesn't anticipate making any sweeping changes to the program this year.

"Due to the previous hard work and dedication of the past coaches, I adopt a program that already has a sound foundation. It has the support of all our area golf courses and professionals. I pursued this position because my passion for the game is still alive and strong."

Smalley thinks it's that passion for the game that will make Dodson a solid coach. He said it also helps that Dodson has a wealth of experience and the time to give to the young athletes in the high school golf program.

Dodson will become the seventh coach for the high school team when he takes the reins in August. He follows in the footsteps of former coach Ryan Barclay, who held the head coaching spot last season and was with the program for three years. Barclay resigned in the offseason to pursue his own goals in golf and as a ski coach.

Dodson said he plans on hosting a meeting in April so that the parents of current players and potential players can meet him. A time, date and place for the meeting will be announced later.

The golf season will not begin until Aug. 9, but Dodson said there will be plenty to do before then.

The golf team will host the Steamboat Sailor Shootout on July 19. Golf gets no funding from the high school, so the money collected from the tournament, as well as the support of the Steamboat Spring High School Booster Club, are the team's main sources of funding.

-- To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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