Joe Dupree rose to prominence as the quarterback at Southwest.
Now, the Macon native is poised to lead the Patriots once again, this time as the head football coach.
The Bibb County school board voted Tuesday on the appointment of Dupree as the new head football coach and athletics director as his alma mater. Dupree showed up for the board meeting sporting a blue and red tie.
"I'm very excited, this is my dream come true," Dupree said. "I'm very honored for the opportunity. ...The key is just getting athletes out and making sure they also know they're students first. I want to make an impact in their life; I've walked the same streets and halls as them."
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Dupree spent one season as the head coach at Henry County. He went 1-9 with an inexperienced Warhawks' squad.
Prior to landing the job at Henry County, Dupree served as the assistant coach at Westside for seven years and worked as the offensive coordinator over the final four years of his time with the Seminoles.
Dupree was a finalist for the Westside head coaching job when Robert Davis retired after the 2008 season.
Dupree is considered by many to be one of the best football players to come out of Macon since integration. He was The Telegraph All-Middle Georgia Player of the Year in 1989. He led the Patriots to an 8-3 mark as a senior, which stood as the school’s best record for 19 years.
He signed with Georgia and played there for before transferring to Georgia Southern.
Dupree spent time as an assistant football coach at Twiggs County and Rutland, and he was also a head basketball coach at Rutland and Westside.
Dupree replaces Carror Wright, who took a job with the GHSA last month.
Wright led Southwest to two playoff appearances in six years. Wright’s 2008 team equaled Dupree’s 1989 team with an 8-3 record. The Patriots had their first home playoff game in school history in 2008.
"I want to instill hard work and discipline," said Dupree, who cited his high school basketball and football coaches Don Richardson and Edgar Hatcher as influences. "Those two got hand-in-hand. Winning will come."