There are few people in life who truly have a lasting impact on individuals, shaping the way they carry themselves, their work ethic and their overall moral compass.
One’s parent – for many – certainly may fall into that category. Teachers or professors also often fill that influential role – as do athletic coaches.
In New Hampshire, one man certainly has been that guiding force for countless young men – and in some cases female players – over the past five decades.
Souhegan High School baseball coach Bill Dod, whose lengthy career was celebrated Saturday at the New Hampshire Fisher Cats game in Manchester, has seen a lot over the years. With stints at Sanborn, Bishop Guertin, Milford and the Souhegan Sabers, in 50 seasons Dod has amassed an overall record of 549-420. This was his final season, and he has chosen to retire. Dod has earned many coach-of-the-year honors and has been inducted into several halls of fame.
Those accomplishments, though, pale in comparison to the countless lives he has touched both on and off the field.
Hanover baseball coach Mike Jackson was one of the many people who turned out Saturday to honor Dod, calling the longtime coach a friend and inspiration.
“I think he and I are very good friends, but more importantly, I’m a fan,” Jackson said. “From a baseball standpoint, there’s the whole victory thing, but beyond that, he teaches his kids to respect the game. They come in loving the game, but they always respect the game as well. All you need to do is watch his kids play.”
Former player Guy Tino perhaps summed up Dod’s positive influence best, saying, “He looked at the big picture, not just how you were doing on the field, but how you were doing in regard to your well-being. I attribute a lot of my success to his foundation.”
Dod certainly deserves much praise for his many successes. His presence will be greatly missed on the playing field and in life. His words of wisdom and those positive foundations he has helped to solidify will leave a lasting impact on not only Souhegan High School, but also on New Hampshire as a whole.
We join his many former players, fellow coaches and community members in expressing thanks to Coach Dod for all he has given. Sir, we tip our caps to you and your lasting legacy that will live on for generations to come.