CANTON – Larry Dubuc, who taught and coached sports at Canton High for his entire career, died on Thursday, May 16 at the age of 92.
Dubuc, who grew up in Danielson, Conn., and attended the University of Connecticut, was a physical education teacher and a long-time athletic director at Canton before retiring in 1982. During his 32-year tenure, he coached soccer, basketball, baseball and golf.
He was the first soccer coach in school history and his 1973 squad won a Class S championship, just nine seasons after Canton established the program in 1965.
He coached varsity baseball for over a decade, primarily in the 1950s, taking Canton to two Class S championship games. In 1959, Canton won its second state title – and first since 1928 — when they beat Stamford’s St. Basil School, 3-1. Two years earlier, two Canton pitchers didn’t allow a hit in the Class S final against St. Basil but the Warriors lost, 2-1.
Dubuc also coached Canton’s boys basketball team for six seasons from 1950-55. His most successful campaign was in 1952-53 when Canton went 13-8, won a pair of tournament games and advanced as far as the Class S quarterfinals before being eliminated by Watertown.
He was Canton’s athletic director from an undetermined time in the 1950s through 1980.
After graduation from Killingly High School, Dubuc joined the U.S. Army in 1943 during World War II. After the completion of the war, he enrolled at UConn where he earned a degree in education.
Dubuc was an exceptional athlete at UConn, earning two varsity letters on the men’s soccer team, including 1948 when the Huskies won their first NCAA Division I national championship with a perfect 11-0 season. Dubuc was the starting left halfback. He also played on the varsity men’s tennis team and was on the junior varsity basketball team, as well.
Soon after arriving in Canton, he began coaching varsity baseball and basketball. But he made his mark as a teacher as well. The Class of 1953 dedicated its yearbook to Dubuc.
On the field, Dubuc found his most success coaching Canton’s soccer team. Established in 1965 after the school dropped football due to a lack of players, the Warriors won just one game in their first two seasons. But after that, Canton had seven straight winning seasons, played in the state tournament each year under Dubuc and won a Northwest Conference championship in 1971 with a 9-0-2 record.
Dubuc’s 1971 squad allowed just 11 goals in the entire 13-game season – a single season school record that still stands today.
In 1973, his Canton team was the only team to score a goal on eventual Class M champion Farmington, battling to a 2-2 tie with the Indians in late October. Canton won four games in the Class S tournament including an 2-1 overtime win over Woodstock Academy in the quarterfinals and a 3-1 decision over Old Lyme in the championship match.
In 1974, he was the first Canton coach to be recognized with Coach of the Year honors from the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. He was honored for his work in soccer. In the last 39 years, only four other Canton coaches have received similar recognition.
Dubuc and Shirley, his wife of 62 years, lived in Avon.
Dubuc is survived by his wife Shirley (Ponte) Dubuc; a son, Donald Dubuc of Westfield, ME; a daughter, Terri Trainor and her husband Jack Trainor of The Villages, FL and two grandsons, Timothy Trainor of Seattle, WA and Tony Dubuc of Bridgewater, ME.
Calling hours will be Friday, May 24, from 5-7 p.m. at Vincent Funeral Home in Canton. Burial with military honors will be Saturday, May 25, at 10 a.m. at the Church of St. Ann in Avon.
Lawrence Dubuc (Courant)
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