Ed Dodds '03 Named Assistant General Manager of Indianapolis Colts

by Elaine Barnes

Coordinator, Alumni and Donor Communications


ed dodds '03
Distinguished Alumni

"I wouldn’t have gotten in if not for connections made at Texas A&M – Kingsville"


From the young age of six or seven, Edwin “Ed” Dodds ’03 can vividly recall being exposed to Javelina Nation in a way that impacted his life enormously. On any given day, his home – nestled off a quiet county road on the outskirts of Kingsville – would be bustling with vibrant football players and coaches sharing conversation and a warm, home-cooked meal, eagerly discussing the team and its triumphs and defeats. It’s a unique scene that Dodds’ father, Scott, lovingly attributed to his wife, Jane, and her steadfast, heartfelt support for their shared alma mater of Texas A&M – Kingsville. It’s that distinct legacy of family and football that jumpstarted Dodds’ passion for observing and analyzing the detailed mechanics of a football team and what specific talents make one truly thrive, as well as his dream to enter the industry and put those abilities to work. He saw that dream realized in June 2018 once named assistant general manager to the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.


Dodds admits that it may seem implausible, but his confidence for achieving a career in the NFL never wavered. “It may sound arrogant … but I knew I could work harder than a lot of people. You see laziness every day. But if you just get up and do your job, good things are going to happen. It might take longer than you want sometimes, but it will happen,” he affirmed.


That dedication manifested into a successful career with the Seattle Seahawks stemmed across 10 seasons in which Dodds served the team in multiple capacities, working his way up the ranks. Before pursuing a career with the Colts in 2017, he most recently acted as the Seahawks’ senior personnel executive evaluating college and pro talent. During his tenure with the team, the Seahawks also won a Superbowl, a gratifying accomplishment that drives Dodds to win another, hopefully this time alongside Chris Ballard, general manager of the Colts and former TAMUK football coach. “We had a lot of success [with the Seahawks], so obviously, I want to tap into that system because I kind of climbed the ranks there, and I was exposed to a lot of different things,” he explained.


His ability to charge through the challenging system of the NFL stems from his time at TAMUK, and Dodds insisted that he is grateful for the knowledge and exclusive opportunities it allowed him. “Being close to the culture of football from a young age, I was around different types of people in athletics. They came from all walks of life, and I learned how to interact with them, what makes certain people tick and how to motivate people case-by-case. It’s not just treating everyone the same way; you have to be different [toward everyone],” Dodds exclaimed.


The relationships Dodds fostered during his time at TAMUK also proved significant in getting his foot in the door of an industry that is extremely difficult to penetrate. He illuminated further, “Jack Bechta helped me get my start with the [Oakland] Raiders was a student-athlete at the university… without the connections I made there, I probably wouldn’t have made it, because it’s not necessarily what degree you have, but you have to know somebody … and I wouldn’t have gotten in if not for connections made at Texas A&M – Kingsville.”


Despite understanding how his unique upbringing in the atmosphere of football aided him to almost seamlessly fall into this type of career, there’s no denying that the environment of the NFL presents a multitude of challenges that Dodds has to overcome each and every day. One of which being the sacrifice of being home with his family. “It’s just long, and it doesn’t stop for nine months,” he highlighted, “I’m either on the road, or I’m in my office for nine months.”


Aside from the constant travel, Dodds handles the day-to-day operation of the college scouting department, as well as pro scouting. He highlighted, “There will be some other aspects to the job like overseeing our video department and the equipment department, and just various things that I’ll do. In the absence of our general manager, I will act in his capacity.”


These responsibilities in his new role actively go against common misconceptions that come with the territory. Dodds insisted that, despite what people might believe, he’s not a recruiter. “I’m not,” he jested, “…they probably think I get to go to a ton of games, too, but I don’t. I might see eight games – college games – a year, at most. Not even as much now than when I acted as a scout, because the work doesn’t stop – at least, not until after the draft.” But when that time of relief reaches him after countless months of perseverance, what Dodds hopes to see as a result of all the sacrifice and endurance is that second Super Bowl win. And eventually, he hopes to find himself making the final push to earn the coveted title of general manager.


In order to obtain that elite status, Dodds is aware that much more is involved in earning that rank than just a winning football season. He has to learn to master the delicate balance between looking ahead toward the future while maintaining a stronghold on the needs of the present day for his team. “You’ve got to learn to balance it or you’ll be left behind,” he contended. “In Seattle, I believe we did a good job of keeping up to date while also looking ahead, whereas that’s sort of the challenge we have going on now [with the Colts].”


Undoubtedly, the small-town roots that Dodds was raised with will play a huge role in seeing his dreams for the future come into fruition. As his father, Scott, proudly exclaimed, “He knew every player growing up, and knew them well. I mean, he was really interested in plays and talent and so on. He wasn’t just an observer; he paid attention. As he grew older, he gained the respect of the coaches, because he kind of had that way about him of evaluating things that they appreciated.” Dodds confirmed his father’s sentiments, recognizing the competitive edge it brings when interacting with players. “I’ve seen people in my industry that I guess sometimes can get intimidated by the different players,” he explained, “and I don’t. It doesn’t bother me, because whoever it is, we can sit down and have a conversation.”


Dodds’ humble attitude is the undercurrent of his upbringing, as his father further highlighted, “Jane loved [Texas A&M – Kingsville], as do I … we didn’t go to every sporting event or every game, but we were involved a lot in football. And Ed’s right – it was a unique situation with our relationship with the team and the coaches.” That relationship always respected NCAA regulations, but due to the caring instincts of Jane, it was a familiar sight to see 15-20 players gathered around the Dodds’ house. “The players could never go home for Thanksgiving – back in those days, they were in the play-offs a lot, so they’d have to practice. And Jane would cook a turkey, and they’d eat, and gosh … they were just unique times which have not appeared or repeated in quite a number of years now,” Scott fondly recalled, with tears swelling in his eyes. He gently expressed how Jane’s passing saw a shift in his ability to continue to uphold that tradition, not because he didn’t want to, but because he understands how vital she was to the team and its players at TAMUK, and it’s a connection that simply cannot be replaced.


Arguably, Jane’s kindness and ability to gather a diverse group of individuals was entrenched in an observant child, who then nurtured and cultivated those characteristics into his lifelong career and passion in life. Carrying his mother’s torch forward, Dodds brings a sense of earnest dedication and south-Texas charm to the NFL. But he also challenged that the NFL isn’t entirely devoid of that south-Texas charm either. He concluded, “I would challenge people to look at the history of Texas A&M – Kingsville. There’s a lot of rich history that they don’t know or realize … I start to rattle off names of alumni in my line of work and people say, ‘Oh really, that guy went there?’ But that’s what I want people to know – how much success Texas A&M – Kingsville [football] has had, how long they’ve sustained it and the alumni it has produced.”


  Indianapolis, IN
  Bachelors of Business Administration
  Sports Business