Dick Duval inducted into SJO Hall of Fame

SJO football coach Dick Duval
Dick Duval was one four individuals inducted into the St. Joseph-Ogden Athletic Hall of Fame at Friday's Homecoming game Bloominton Central Catholic. He is joined by Stan Harper, Kelly Duitsman Hunt and Keith Sjuts in the Class of 2021 inductees.

A well-deserved honor, Duval built a football dynasty that saw five IHSA football state championship games, six semi-finals playoff games, and the IHSA football quarter-finals 16 times. In addition to coaching and teaching math, Duval was also served as athletic director before his retirement.


Dick Duval attended Herscher High School. In high school, Dick was a member of National Honor Society. He was a three-sport athlete in basketball, baseball, and football. He was the Captain of both the baseball team and football team. He was also President of the Letterman Club.

Coach Duval graduated from Illinois State University in 1978 where he majored in Mathematics, with a minor in Physical Education. After college, he taught for three years at Herscher Grade School and coached grade school basketball and high school football. He then taught for seven years in the Kankakee School District, where he coached three sports at the high school level: football, basketball, and baseball. During this time, he was also the defensive backs coach at Olivet Nazarene University.

In 1988, Coach Duval took a position at St. Joseph-Ogden High School as a math teacher and was both the head football and baseball coach. Coach Duval coached baseball at SJO for 16 years, winning more than 200 games during a time when schools played a lot fewer regular season games. At SJO, Coach Duval was the head football coach for 28 years from 1988-2015 and in that time, never had a losing season. In 1989, his second year as head football coach, he took the Spartans to his first state championship game.

Dick Duval and players talk to the media after the Spartans' 2013 state title game against Stillman Valley. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Before his career was over, SJO went to the playoffs 25 consecutive years, and made it to the IHSA football state championship game five times, the IHSA football semi-finals six times, and the IHSA football quarter-finals 16 times. His final record was 251 wins and 75 losses. During his career at SJO, Coach Duval earned a position as an assistant coach in the 1990 and 1998 Illinois football All-Star games. He was awarded the Chicago Bears High School Coach of the Week on October 9th, 2000. On April 5th, 2008, Coach Duval was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame where he was recognized for his ability to inspire his athletes to the highest in discipline and spirit.

Sara Ulbrich Greenstein, a member of the SJO Hall of Fame class of 2014 recently cited Dick Duval as one of her five influences that helped her become a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company.

After retiring from teaching and coaching, Dick Duval was the main scorekeeper for the SJO boys basketball team. He also was scorekeeper and announcer for many of the basketball tournaments hosted by SJO.

Surrounded by family members Lynda Duval holds a plaque with a photo of her late husband Dick who was inducted into the St. Joseph-Ogden Hall of Fame. Standing with Lynda are her daughter Bobbi and husband Cory Busboom and son, Kiel and his wife Katie, and three grandchildren. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

On August 20, 2021, the SJO football field was dedicated to Coach Duval and is now the Dick Duval Field.

Coach Duval fought a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer, but passed away on August 26, 2021.

Dick is survived by his wife, Lynda, daughters Bobbi and Toni, son Kiel, their spouses and his four grandchildren.

* Biography provided courtesy of St. Joseph-Ogden High School