Dussault, Jacques “Air Assault”

Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: In person 1992, San Antonio Riders v. Montreal Machine

Jacques Dussault is probably one of the one of the most recognizable French Canadian American football coaches. An offensive guru nicknamed ‘Air Assault’, Dussault wore those 80s shades with the leather sides on them.  I met him after the Machine lost to the Riders 17-16, during the season opener of 1992.  I was only able to get him to sign one card, and he was engaging enough to thank me in English, smiling kindly at me.

Jacques Dussault was an assistant way back in 1984 with the Montreal Concordes. He’d be there with the team through name changes and the teams folding in 1986/87 spending the off-season of 1986 coaching at Michigan State.  Jacques would then move onto coach American Football in Paris, France for Anges Bleus, a first division team. Dussault would return stateside in 1989 to coach for Mount Allison University in New Jersey through 1990. He’d be named head coach of the Montreal Machine- a shrewd move by the league considering that the league wanted fans in Montreal to relate to its new team, -that happened to be led by a French speaking coach.

The team finished a respectable 4-6 in 1991, despite being wracked by quarterback injuries. In 1992, the Montreal Machine slipped backwards to a 2-8 record, again, this time beset by injuries not only at quarterback but at runningback. Dussault fielded a very competitive team, losing 5 of those games by a total of 25 points.

After the WLAF folded and reorganized domestically, Dussault returned to Canada.  He remains quite active as a spokesperson promoting American and Canadian football to French Canadians, speaking at events, teaching football to students, making media appearances and coaching at a variety of college and CFL stops.

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