New WJ football coach
The West Jordan High School football team hasn’t been to the state playoffs in over three years, but new head coach Danny DuPaix is hoping to change all that. The former Herriman High assistant coach has been part of a coaching staff that took the Mustangs to the postseason every year since the school opened in 2010, and looks to help the Jaguars’ program realize that type of success.
“West Jordan is kind of a secret gold mine with a lot of potential if we can tap into it,” DuPaix said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to be a head coach, and this is an excellent opportunity. The administration and athletic staff are just great and I’m fired up.”
At Herriman, DuPaix headed up the top rushing team – and one of the best offensive squads – in the state, as the running backs coach in leading the Mustangs to its first region title in 2012. He was also the special teams coordinator as well as the head coach and offensive coordinator for the junior varsity and sophomore teams, while also heading up the school’s wrestling program for two seasons.
DuPaix was practically born into the sport of football and played at Skyline for his father, the legendary Roger DuPaix, who coached at area high schools for 40 years. Danny’s brother, Joe, is an assistant coach at Brigham Young University. During Danny’s high school years, he helped the team to a state championship with two other second-place finishes, while also competing as an All-State wrestler and rugby player in the Eagles’ athletic program.
Danny DuPaix followed his dad in the coaching ranks on the same sidelines just after graduating from high school, then returned to assist at Skyline following an LDS Church mission, helping the team to the 2005 state championship. During college, he was a starter on the nationally-ranked University of Utah rugby team. “That was a great experience, to be able to excel on a different field but continue to learn toughness and endurance,” he said.
In his nine years of coaching high school, the 29- year-old father of two said he has been pretty lucky to have had great players to work with and that has simply made it enjoyable. “Coaching, to me, is fun, just plain fun,” DuPaix said. “I love all the little things – the practices, watching film, all the background things. Plus, there’s a natural reward in being an influence in these kids’ lives.”
DuPaix preaches a Togetherness, Attitude, Perseverance and Effort – or “TAPE” – philosophy, and feels his players can win games on those principles alone, regardless of offensive or defensive schemes. He is also bringing “3 C’s” – Character, Courage, Commitment – to West Jordan, and is confident the Jaguars can have a program full of players that exemplify those traits.
“I’m going to use football as a tool to develop young men and help them be a contributing member of society,” DuPaix said. “We will put a great staff together, run this program the right way and help these boys feel like they are growing and achieving something.”