• Alumni
“It’s More Than Football”

Alumni Trailblazer Jason Dulick’s Journey as an Educator

By Frank Kovarik '94 
Co-Director of Equity and Inclusion, English Department Chair

For Jason Dulick ’92, this year’s Alumni Trailblazers inductee, a lifetime of service as an educator and coach was indelibly influenced by his formation at St. Louis U. High.

“I always tell people that one of the experiences that really shaped me for the future was my Senior Project,” Dulick says.

Dulick and a few classmates did their Senior Projects at Cote Brilliante School, a public elementary school on the northside of St. Louis in the historic Ville neighborhood.

“We tutored first and second graders. A lot of them had grown up with challenges, and they would bring that to school and tell us their experiences at home and what was going on in their neighborhood. It was really tough to hear sometimes, because it impacted their learning. That always stuck with me. I never had plans of becoming a teacher, but that senior project had an impact on me that never went away. I wanted to make a change in the community.”

Dulick’s work during his project was a precursor to his lifelong vocation as a teacher in St. Louis Public Schools, where he has worked in special education and coached for more than two decades.

Dulick came to SLUH as, in his words, “a tall, lanky, uncoordinated freshman” from St. Roch, the parochial school near his childhood home in the Skinker- Debaliviere neighborhood. As one of a small number of Black students, Dulick found strength and community in the SLUH Organization for Black Achievement (OBA), moderated by then-Jesuit scholastic and SLUH teacher Gene Morris ’83 (now a monsignor in the Archdiocese of St. Louis). “It was a place where we could talk about things that were going on in our lives. It was a brotherhood,” Dulick recalls, which connected him with friends that he still keeps up with to this day. Dulick also remembers being profoundly impacted by renowned documentarian Henry Hampton '57 delivering a speech to the student body when he was honored with the Backer Award in 1990.

An avid football fan, Dulick had never played on an organized team before coming to SLUH and joining the freshman squad coached by Matt Sciuto ‘70 and Dominic Calacci. He also played for a freshman basketball team under Gary Kornfeld that went 19-0. Kornfeld saw potential in Dulick, who began training in the offseason and became a senior standout on a football team that made it to the state final in 1991.

“Football and basketball shaped me for life—being part of a team, being accountable, the work ethic. It helped me understand success. And some of those same things I learned as a player I have tried to instill as a coach.”

Dulick earned a football scholarship at the University of Illinois, where he majored in history and still holds records in receptions and touchdowns. After graduating, he signed as a free agent with the Houston Oilers and trained with a number of NFL teams. He played arena football in Tampa, Florida, from 1998-2000. Going for a fumble during a game, however, he collided with another player and injured his neck. Specialists told him that he was at risk of paralysis if he continued to play. “I had a lot of life to live and definitely didn’t want to have that happen,” Dulick says, so he decided to give up football. “It was a tough break. Things were going well for me; we were in the playoffs. But I prayed on it” and decided to come back to St. Louis. Dulick’s mother was a teacher in St. Louis Public Schools, and she suggested that he apply to be a substitute teacher. He did so and was hired to be a gym teacher’s aide at Nottingham CAJT, a special education school in south St. Louis.

“A lot of people have perceptions of people with disabilities, but it was great to be a positive mentor in their lives and talk to them about my experiences.” Dulick earned a Master’s in Education, certified as a cross-categorical K-12 special education teacher.

Dulick was soon hired as an assistant football coach at Gateway STEM High School (formerly O’Fallon Technical High School). He eventually became head varsity football coach, a position he has held for ten years. Under Dulick, Gateway has made it to the state quarterfinals and semifinals and won conference championships, making it a standout in the Public High League. Dulick coached Sheldon Richardson, a #1 draft pick for the New York Jets.

“It’s more than football,” though, Dulick says. “It’s about being transformational, changing lives daily. These young men at Gateway are like the students at Cote Brilliante.”

Dulick has taken on many leadership roles at Gateway, teaching a wide variety of subjects as a special education teacher and now serving as department head. Dulick has coached girls basketball and soccer, boys and girls track, and been athletic director for the school. In 2011 he received the Pettus Award of Excellence, the SLPS Teacher of the Year award.

Outside of his work as a teacher and coach, Dulick says, “My kids keep me moving.” He has a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son whose involvement in dance and soccer has him picking up and dropping off daily.

Dulick’s dedication to his students and players makes him a true Man for Others and a fitting addition to the Alumni Trailblazers wall at the Backer Memorial.

>>> Learn about our other 2023 Alumni Trailblazer honoree: Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau

Did You Know?

The SLUH Alumni Trailblazers honorary list celebrates the achievements of graduates of color. Learn more and nominate an alumnus at www.sluh.org/trailblazers.

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