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'It cost me everything': Franklin High School coach shares sobriety journey

Posted at 6:32 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 19:32:15-04

FRANKLIN, Wis. — Richard Dodd loves running and coaching. During this National Alcohol Awareness Month, the Franklin assistant track coach, and cross country coach wants to give back and teach kids to avoid the hurdles he overcame in his life.

"It's not really for the money. It's certainly for the love of the sport and the love of the kids and to help giveback," Dodd says.

Dodd's shirt says it all: Tough times don't last, but tough people do.

"By the grace of God, I had no property damage," Dodd says. "I did not hit anybody. Kill anybody. Injure anybody, including myself. You know, which is a miracle in and of itself. But let's face it. You get popped three times in an eight month period? You probably got a problem."

Dodd coaches at Franklin High School. It is a short distance from the House of Correction where he spent time a decade and a half ago.

"A lot of our workouts, especially in the fall for cross country, we do over at Froemming Park, which is about a mile south of this high school," Dodd says. "And from the parking lot, you can literally see the House of Correction, which is where sadly, unfortunately, I had to spend the fall of 2006."

Three DUI's in an eight month span took its toll.

"It cost me everything," Dodd says. "It cost me a couple great jobs. It cost me my freedom and a marriage. You know, homes, extremely costly to me."

For him, sobriety is a daily process.

"Fourteen years, three months, and three days," Dodd says. "I was 48 when I got sober."

Dodd shares his elite level marathon knowledge to a new generation.

"I qualified as an 18 year old for the Boston Marathon, which is extremely rare," Dodd says. "And then ran it as a 19 year old. Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon I ran two hours and 19 minutes, and 38 seconds, which is my personal best time. For those that might not know, that's under 5 minutes and 20 seconds per mile for 26.2 miles."

All while teaching kids for 26 years that there is a better way.

"Giving my life and my will over a power greater than myself, which I choose to be God," Dodd says. "But you know my God could be anything. It could be good orderly direction. It could be great outdoors. It could be doing all the things that I love, that alcohol took me away from."

Dodd coached the Sabers cross country teams to state, and shows up to many of his athlete's sports and activities, because he cares so much for them.

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