Alfred University News

Legendary Alfred University coach Clifford DuBreuil passes away

Cliff DuBreuil
Cliff DuBreuil

Clifford H. DuBreuil, HD ’96, Hall of Fame former track and field and cross country coach at Alfred University, passed away Sunday, Jan. 24. He was 90 years old.


Clifford H. DuBreuil, HD ’96, Hall of Fame former track and field and cross country coach at Alfred University, passed away Sunday, Jan. 24. He was 90 years old.

Cliff—known affectionately by some as “Coach” and by others as “Dubes”—came to Alfred University in 1959, taking a position of physical education instructor. That same year, he was appointed head men’s and women’s track and field coach, and held that position until his retirement in 1995. Cliff came to Alfred from the University of Rochester, where he served as an instructor, intramural director and throwing coach for track and field team.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University in 1955 and would later earn a Master of Science degree, also from Indiana University, in 1959. Following his graduation from Indiana in 1955, Cliff served in the U.S. Army Reserves, as a first lieutenant, during the Korean Conflict.

Alfred University’s track and field teams were hugely successful during Cliff’s coaching tenure, winning 79 percent of their competitions. Cliff coached a pair of national champions: Glenn Clinton, 110-meter hurdles, 1994 NCAA outdoor championships; and Val Thompson, 110-meter hurdles, 1983 NCAA outdoor championships. He coached six track and field All-Americans along with 23 Saxon student-athletes who would go on to be inducted into the Alfred University Athletics Hall of Fame. He himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

During his tenure as track and field coach, Cliff also served as an assistant coach to legendary Saxon football coach Alex Yunevich. In 1996, he was awarded an honorary degree from Alfred University.

Cliff was the recipient of the Ken Warren Leadership Award, presented by the National Throw Coaches Association in recognition of career contributions to the track and field throwing disciplines. Cliff was president of the NCAA Division III Track and Field Coaches Association two years (1979-80), and served as president of the New York State Collegiate Track and Field Association in 1967, 1972-73, 1978, and 1980.

“For those of you who had a chance to meet “Dubes” you will share in my thoughts that he was truly one of a kind,” said Paul Vecchio, Alfred University athletics director, who has known Cliff since 1992, when Vecchio was serving as Alfred’s sports information director.

“Cliff’s list of lives impacted is considerably longer than his list of champions and the respect I had for him in this regard is paramount,” Vecchio commented. “No one who ever was coached by Coach DuBreuil did not have a story or two, usually colorful, about him. All agreed, however, that he always got the best out of them and in most cases brought out performances in them they themselves did not think were possible. This is the essence of great coaching.”

Cliff was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Phyllis Jean McRoberts, who passed away in 2009. The couple had three children—daughters Susan DuBreuil and Beth Houghtaling and son Thomas DuBreuil—who survive. At Cliff’s request, services will be for immediate family only at their convenience. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Almond, NY. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Cliff DuBreuil's Complete obituary