WEST JORDAN — Goodbyes are always difficult. After retiring following the 2011 season and serving a religious mission, Roger DuPaix is returning to football as an assistant, his son, West Jordan coach Dan DuPaix, announced Monday afternoon.
“He wanted to help out anyway, but (I wanted) to have him officially on staff so the kids feel like they can go talk to him,” Dan DuPaix said. “He’s not there just for me; he’s there for the organization. It’s going to be tremendous for us as we continue to grow at West Jordan.”
Roger DuPaix retired from Skyline as the all-time winningest coach in Utah high school history. After 35 years pacing the sidelines, he finished with 301 career victories (246 with Skyline), 67 playoff wins and eight state championships. In the 1990s, Roger DuPaix led the Eagles to seven 5A state championships, including a record five straight from 1995 to 1999.
“As a new coach, for me personally, I’ve always relied on him,” his son said. “It’ll be great to have him there when I get in those unique situations to have that advice. Any young coach needs a mentor who you can rely on. Unofficially he’s kind of the coaches’ coach.”
The capacity in which Roger DuPaix will contribute has yet to be established, but in an email announcement to the players, Dan DuPaix defined his initial responsibilities in an organizational role.
“He’s been really hitting me since he got back to get together and work on quality control,” Dan said. “That can be any number of things; really looking at all those aspects and seeing where you can be more efficient and more effective. He’s going to be great wherever we put him.”
In Dan DuPaix’s first season at the helm in 2013, the Jaguars finished 1-9 and 0-5 in arguably the toughest region in the state. The program itself has an 132-194 record in 33 seasons and an all-time playoff record of 4-15, but Dan DuPaix believes with his father's presence, the program will progress.
“He’ll be the first one to tell you that the first few years are really hard. You’re trying to establish that consistency,” Dan DuPaix said. Roger DuPaix was 5-13 in his first two years at Highland before three consecutive eight-win seasons. “You can’t turn any program around overnight. No coach; no hire (or) single player is going to change the program. It’s the little things that I think he’s going to pay huge dividends for us.”