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March Hall of Fame Resident of the Month
WILLIAM H. DODD
Bill became a resident of Seven Hills in June, 1956. His family members included parents Betty and Harry and his sisters, Annette and Jeanne. While growing up, he participated in the city’s Little League program. As a student at Hillside Junior High (1970-1972), he was involved with Cross Country, Wrestling and Track. Bill continued running Cross Country and Track when he attended Normandy (1973-1975).
After graduating from high school, Bill assisted Mr. Kalin with the Cross Country and Track teams. After Mr. Kalin retired, Bill applied for and received the coaching position for both teams. This was in addition to his full-time postal carrier job, which he held for 30 years.
Bill coached track at Hillside and Normandy for 17 years and currently volunteers with Hillside’s track program. While coaching at Normandy, he had a Track Invitational named after him, which is held at Byers Field annually.
Bill has coached Cross Country at Normandy for 32 years and continues coaching. During this time, he coached the teams to 6 League Titles, had 5 runners qualify for State, and 2 runners qualify for All State. He was voted Coach of the Year six times.
Bill has run 18 Boston Marathons. His best finish was 268th and his best time was 2:36. He has run several Columbus, Marine Corps., Cleveland/Revco and Akron Towpath Marathons, as well. He placed 11th in the first Phoenix Marathon with a time of 2:42:33. One of his most memorable marathons was in Athens, Greece, where he was the second American to cross the finish line and placed 15th overall. He has run numerous 10ks, with his best time being 33:29. He has run many 5ks in numerous cities.
After residing in Garfield Heights for several years, Bill returned to Seven Hills in November, 2015 when he purchased his dad’s home. Bill is well known in the community. Many of the kids he coached are still in touch with him. He gets excited when he hears of the positions they have gone into since graduation, and is happy he was a small part of their development. Bill encourages his runners and has even had a few go into marathon running. When they run in Boston, Bill likes to meet them after the race to congratulate them and share their excitement with them. Whenever I am out with Bill, someone is always stopping him to talk, whether it is current or past runners, parents or even people who have watched him run throughout the city over the years. Last year on his Spring Training trip to Phoenix, I was surprised to hear someone call out his name as we were walking to our seats. It was a retired teacher/coach from Normandy. Bill made time to meet with him and his wife and took them to his favorite Mexican Restaurant.
Bill made his races a family affair. We would all meet in Boston and spend the week together. Bill and I continue our trips to Boston, only now he joins me in handing out water at the 2.2 mile hydration station and cheers on the runners.
Bill loves working with the kids and helping them become well-rounded and disciplined young men. He is a good role model and I am proud to be his sister.