As a player at Sweetwater High School in Sweetwater, Tennessee, Bill Dupes was the captain of the football team and a star tailback and linebacker from 1943-1947. He played on the post-graduate Tennessee Military Institute team from 1947-1948 where he earned All-Mid-South honors. He went on to play at Tennessee Tech University where he started for three years.
In his senior year, he served his team as captain and made the Ohio Valley Conference All-Defensive squad and received Honorable Mention Little All-American honors. Dupes stayed at Tennessee Tech as a graduate assistant football coach for years.
During this time, Tennessee Tech played in the Tangerine Bowl, where they were the Ohio Valley Conference Champions one year and Co-Champions the second. While at Tennessee Tech, Coach Dupes also served as the coach of the track team, which never placed lower than second under his leadership.
Bill Dupes still owns the longest coaching tenure in Austin Peay State University football. He took over an APSU program in 1963 that had not enjoyed a winning season for more than a decade. After an initial 1-9 season, he led the Govs to an 8-1-1 record in 1964, earning unanimous selection as OVC Coach of the Year. He followed that up with another 8-1 season in 1965. His overall record at APSU was 40-58-2, and he had 23 players earn first-team All-OVC during his tenure.
In addition, four Governors were selected first-team Little All-American and seven more gained honorable mention. Loved and respected by his former players, he was paid the ultimate tribute when the Bill Dupes Scholarship was established in his name in 1990. He returned to coach at the high school level in 1976, first at Tennessee Military Institute and then at his prep alma mater, Sweetwater, in 1983. He led his team to a state title in 1993. After 44 years, he retired from coaching in 1998.