Farragut High School Athletic Director Donald Dodgen received the surprise of his career Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Farragut between the girls' and boys' basketball games vs. Hardin Valley Academy.
The basketball court was named after him in honor of his 27 years of service.
Dodgen was completely surprised by the honor. Principal John Bartlett presented Dodgen with a plaque saying how much he appreciated Dodgen’s dedication to Farragut High School.
“I’m so honored. Farragut High School is very dear to me. I’ve been here 27 years. We’re here for the kids,” said Dodgen.
Dodgen got the opportunity to go into the stands in the student section for photo ops. He said that was the highlight of his night.
“It meant the world to me to go up into the stand with the kids. That’s a photo I’d like to put in my office. The whole thing was a big surprise. Normally I know everything that’s going on, but Dr. Bartlett got one over on me.”
Dodgen started his career at Farragut as a physical education teacher. He then became the boys’ basketball coach.
During his stellar career Dodgen’s teams won nine tournament championships (district, region, and substate). He brought the team to state tournaments twice. He had 20 or more wins per season for 22 seasons and he coached over 1,000 games.
“I just love this place,” said Dodgen. “The people are great, the kids are great, the staff is great, great faculty, great administration. All the schools in Knox County are great, but Farragut is special. It’s close to my heart and I’m a lucky man to be here. I don’t HAVE to go to work, I GET to go to work and it’s something I really enjoy.”
His three children followed in his footsteps. They are all coaches at various schools. Dodgen’s two daughters were at the ceremony, but his son could not attend.
Dodgen’s daughter Brianne Dodgen McCroskey is the assistant basketball coach for the Lady Hawks at Hardin Valley Academy. She said she is very proud of her father.
“I felt it was a very deserving honor for my father. He has given a lot of his time and heart to the school and the athletic department. My father is a very humble person and doesn’t always take credit when credit is due for what he’s accomplished over the years. The fact that we were able to surprise him with this made it even better.
“My father bleeds navy and gray!” said McCroskey.
Dodgen said he’s looking forward to many more years at Farragut High School.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Farragut High School Athletic Director Donald Dodgen receives honor