Seth Dodson, Rec & Ed Team Sports Manager and Ann Arbor dad of four, stands in front of a familiar crowd at the youth soccer coaches’ orientation. His 6’4” frame and boyish smile make Dodson a recognizable face on the Ann Arbor team sports scene.
Before the orientation begins, Dodson has already greeted five or six coaches whom he knows from around town – former Rec coaches and players, parents with kids at the same school as his children, and families he has built relationships with from Huron High where his wife teaches.
Rec & Ed team sports
In running team sports for Rec & Ed, Dodson is in charge of one of the largest recreation departments in the state. Dodson strives to provide a variety of offerings, from soccer and field hockey for school-aged kids to kickball and pickleball for adults. Dodson works tirelessly and thoughtfully to set up players and coaches for successful, positive experiences. “We listen. We offer training and support. We also don’t throw kids in a bag and randomly pull them out when creating teams. We create neighborhood teams that strengthen community.”
Dodson’s insider tip for navigating Rec and Ed registration is to get things in early or on time. “It takes a month and a half to get a season going because of all the elements that need to come together such as shirts, officials, and fields, and schedules.”
Life as a dad in Ann Arbor
A native of Ohio and a dedicated University of Michigan football fan, Dodson lives with his wife, a history teacher at Huron High School, and four children in the Eberwhite neighborhood. His neighborhood’s location, and its proximity to family favorites like the Eberwhite Woods or Golf and Outing tailgates, is one of the many things Dodson loves about living and working in Ann Arbor.
Getting out and active in the neighborhood is important to Dodson and his family. “My girls can walk to their middle and high school. Everything is very close to where we live and very walkable. It’s great for staying active.”
With two boys at Eberwhite, Dodson admits that his favorite part of the day is picking them up at the end of the school day. “There’s nothing like their excitement and seeing their happy faces to let you know that you’re doing something right. I love seeing their smile. It’s a nice tip of the cap for Dad.”
Dodson doesn’t take all the credit for his boys’ happiness.
“I think Ann Arbor is an outstanding community with excellent schools, and the activities in this town are amazing for children and families. I would not raise my kids anywhere else.”