The name ‘DuPaix' is synonymous with two things in the state of
For the past thirty one years, Joe's father, Roger DuPaix has coached the Sykline High School Eagles and he is currently the winningest football coach in
"I grew up basically running the option. [My dad] started running the option back in 1984-85 so when I grew up it was all option football. We won a state championship my senior year at Skyline – I was the quarterback."
So where did the elder Dupaix pick-up option football?
The younger DuPaix's exposure to option football continued after he graduated high school.
After a brief stint at
Making the transition from playing to coaching was something that came naturally to DuPaix.
"[Coaching] was something I always wanted to do since I played for my dad."
Once his playing days were over, DuPaix started his coaching career as an assistant at Riverton High School in Salt Lake City and then as the quarterbacks and receivers coach at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Next it was onto 1-AA Cal Poly of the Great West Conference where DuPaix would remain for seven years – the last four of which he served as the Mustangs' offensive coordinator. With DuPaix orchestrating the option offense, Cal Poly led all 1-AA in total offense in 2007, averaging 487 yards per game. Overall during his four-year tenure in charge of the offense, Cal Poly won 32 games and lost only 14.
Meanwhile during that same span, on the other end of the Great West Conference, DuPaix's alma mater,
DuPaix's name quickly surfaced as a leading candidate for the
"I wasn't watching [the Navy situation] super close because I was actually involved with the head football coaching position at
After DuPaix's initial interview, Paul Johnson took the job at Georgia Tech, and Navy quickly named his long-time assistant Ken Niumatalolo as his replacement.
"I was going back for a second interview to meet the president [of Southern Utah University] on a Tuesday. On the Sunday prior, Coach Niumatalolo called me and told me he wanted to talk to me in more depth about the Navy position. He told me he wanted me to coach the slot backs, and certainly I was very interested. I told him that I'd like to talk to him more about it on Tuesday night [after the second interview with
"Monica and I are people of great faith and we spent a lot of time on Monday and Tuesday praying about what was the right decision for our family, not just the football part of it because we've got five kids. We had to make sure we moved to the right place," continued DuPaix.
"When it was all said and done, we both felt very strongly that Navy was the place for us to come. I called [
At least one person in the DuPaix family was expecting Joe to take a different path.
"I was surprised [by his decision] because I thought he would be offered the SUU job," said Roger DuPaix. "[But] I think it was a very good decision that Joe and Monica made. Joe is enthusiastic and a leader with a very positive attitude. Navy is a perfect fit."
Part of the reason both Joe and Roger DuPaix were comfortable with the choice was that they both had an opportunity to meet Coach Niumatalolo in the spring of 2007.
"The [Navy] coaches were great. They gave us first-class treatment," said Roger DuPaix.
"That was the first time I came out [to
Although it was the first time DuPaix and Niumatalolo met, there was already a pretty strong connection established through Cal Poly's current head football coach, Rich Ellerson. Prior to coaching the Mustangs, Ellerson had served as the defensive coordinator at
In Part II of the interview with Navy's new slot back coach, Joe DuPaix discusses the differences between Cal Poly's offense and the Mids; the reputation of Navy football on the West Coast; the challenges of recruiting; and whether or not he thinks he can make the Navy offense even better. Part II will be for premium members only. To sign up, click here.
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