Dick Dupuis spent 12 seasons in the Canadian Football League after playing four years of NCAA football for Notre Dame. He won one Grey Cups and multiple individual awards during a career that saw him distinguish himself as a quintessential team-first Canadian Football player. Dupuis was also an exceptional track and field standout during his high school days.
Dupuis was born in Windsor on September 2, 1942.
At Assumption High School, Dupuis won back-to-back Royal Arcanum Trophies (in 1959 and ’60) as WSSA’s Most Outstanding Male Athlete. He reached three First Team All-City Football squads (in 1958, ’59, and ’60), and was an integral member of Assumption’s ’59 team, which defeated Kennedy 45-0 in the WSSA championship game.
In track and field, Dupuis won the WSSA Individual Championship in each of his four years of high school. He also added one WOSSA Individual title. As a track star, Dupuis competed in the 100- and 220-yard dashes, broad jump, the 440-yard relay, and the hop, step, and jump. All in all, he accumulated 27 total medals: eight gold, seven silver, and one bronze at WSSA, and four gold, three silver, and two bronze at WOSSA. In 1958, he set WSSA and WOSSA records in the broad jump.
In 1959, Dupuis won a silver medal in the 880-yard relay and bronze medals in the 100-yard dash and broad jump at the Canadian Juvenile Track & Field Championships. He also added a sixth-place finish in the hop, step, and jump, helping the Windsor Legion Track Club to the Juvenile Team Championship.
In 1962, Dupuis accepted a full-ride four-year football scholarship to Notre Dame University. With the Fighting Irish, Dupuis received substantial playing time as a backup receiver, halfback, and defensive back.
Out of college, Dupuis signed with the Canadian Football League, where he went on to play 12 seasons as a defensive halfback and punt returner. Dupuis played three seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, between 1965 and ’67, before spending the remainder of his career with the Edmonton Eskimos. He was named Calgary’s Rookie of the Year in his first season.
In 1971, arguably Dupuis’ best individual season, he was named to the All-Canadian and Western Conference All-Star teams at the defensive halfback position while also garnering Edmonton’s Most Outstanding Player Award. The following year, Dupuis was again named a Western Conference All-Star and was the Western Conference nominee for the Schenley Award for the CFL’s Most Oustanding Canadian. He also won Edmonton’s Jackie Parker Award from leadership and playing ability.
Dupuis reached three consecutive Grey Cup games with the Eskimos, losing to Ottawa and Montreal in 1973 and ’74 respectively before defeating Montreal in ’75.
Dupuis developed an excellent reputation as a strong tackler in the secondary over the course of his career. He was also one of the league’s top return men, highlighted by a 1969 season in which he returned 51 punts for 476 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per return.
Hugh Campbell, General Manager of the Eskimos, lauded Dupuis near the end of his career. “As a player,” he said, “Dick was truly what Canadian Football is about. A gifted athlete, he was a fearless worker who never sought glory or personal acknowledgement above his commitment to the team.”