After legendary football coach Roger DuPaix retired from teaching and coaching at Skyline in 2012 to serve an LDS Church mission with his wife, it didn’t take long to realize what he’d left behind.
Sure, there were the X’s and O’s and the thrill from the crowd when a deep ball fluttered into the air. But more than that were the things that didn’t necessarily happen when the stands were full. The tough practices when players learned just how far hard work would take them. The lessons taught in a somber locker room after a heartbreaking loss.
Now back from his mission in the Philippines, DuPaix again will have an opportunity to roam the sidelines and teach young men. His son Danny, who took the reins at West Jordan this past season, announced Tuesday that his father is joining his staff.
"Coaching young men is a lot of fun," Roger DuPaix said. "You get a lot of pleasure seeing them improve their athletic skills, as well as citizenship and their standing in the community. I miss teaching them how to be better people through sports and how to achieve success and learn from disappointment. Coaching is a great ride. I love it."
When the elder DuPaix retired from coaching in 2012, he left behind a distinguished resume that includes 301 victories and eight state titles. But Danny DuPaix said apart from adding the wealth of football knowledge his father owns, the Jaguars will benefit from having someone who knows how to get the most from his players.
"I see him also as the man who raised me, who taught me good work ethic," Danny DuPaix said. "He’s a teacher and a coach who knows the value of these things. That’s what I want from all my coaches."
As Danny DuPaix put it, his father’s role on the staff will be less X’s and O’s and more that of "quality control." And Roger DuPaix already has begun eagerly discussing organizing offseason programs with his son after accepting the offer to join the Jaguars’ staff Friday.
"We’ll let these younger guys, with their enthusiasm and energy, do all the hard work," Roger DuPaix said, laughing. "I’ll just sit on the sideline and yell every once in a while."
The Jaguars struggled through last season, finishing 1-9. They’ve finished with a winning record just twice since 2005, and Danny DuPaix said adding someone like his father to the staff is another step to rebuilding a winning tradition.
"It’s really big for us," Danny DuPaix said. "We have some experience on staff, but we also have some new guys. To have someone who’s been in the profession for so long to mentor and be an example, that’s huge.
"The potential and possibilities we can use him as, he’s a huge asset."
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