By MARLON SCOTT | Senior Staff Writer
Former football coach and APSU Athletic Hall of Fame inductee William D. “Bill” Dupes died Saturday, Jan. 8, at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 81 and is survived by his wife Peggy and four children: Donna, Mark, Billy and David.
Dupes coached football at APSU from 1963 to 1972. He owned the longest coaching tenure in the program’s history. Current head coach Rick Christophel played under Dupes and is one of many in the APSU community who mourned his passing.
In his second year coaching at APSU, Dupes led the football team to an 8-1-1 record and earned Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year honors.
He was inducted into the APSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. Dupes is also a member of the Tennessee Tech and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
He finished his coaching career at APSU with a 40-58-2 record. Dupes coached 23 players who earned first-team honors. In addition, 10 of his former players are also members of the APSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
“If it wasn’t for coach Dupes, I wouldn’t be here,” Christophel said. “He recruited me and gave me an opportunity to play. From him, I learned about patience; I learned how to be fair; I learned what being a head coach is.”
Dupes took over an APSU football program that had not played a winning season for more than a decade.
In addition to coaching at APSU, Dupes earned two OVC Championships with Tennessee Tech as an assistant coach. He was part of the team that won a Tangerine Bowl. Before coaching, he played at Tennessee Tech. He was an honorable mention Little All-American his senior year and also selected for All-OVC honors.
Dupes finished his coaching career as a high school coach, first at Tennessee Military Institute and eventually retiring in 1998 as a coach at his high school alma mater, Sweetwater, Tenn.
As a coach, on the field and off, Dupes endeared himself to many and will be remembered and appreciated for the lessons he taught.
“The biggest things for me were he believed in me and he gave me an opportunity to be successful,” Christophel said. “Those things, I appreciate the most.”
According to APSU Sports Information, in lieu of flowers, the Dupes family asked donations be made to the Bill Dupes Scholarship by contacting the APSU Advancement office at 931-221-7128. TAS