Who is this Ex Cadet – Kevin Dulude?
What Did He Do at RMC? What Has He Done Since?
22909 Kevin Dulude graduated as a ROTP cadet in 2004. He completed his military occupation – Health Care Administrator specific training in 2005. This training consisted of completing a year long certificate in health care management – a joint program with Ryerson University and Canadian Forces Medical Services School at CFB Borden.
Those who were close to the RMC varsity program during that time period may recall 2004. Joane Thibault, the long-time RMC, Drector of Athletics had left in the early Winter/Spring to pursue other PSP opportunities. Mike Robillard replaced her on an interim basis.
The basketball team had just come off the most successful RMC varsity season (14 wins / 8 losses) – any sport – since the Redmen / Paladins involvement with the OUA dating back to the early 1970s. To put this in perspective: From 1973 to 1977 the RMC basketball team was a combined three wins and 53 losses in the OUAA. They moved over to the Ontario College Association for we believe four seasons. (No records available) They shifted back to the OUAA during the 1982 /83 schedule and lasted a total of four years. The record was zero wins and 42 losses. In those eight seasons they were a combined 3 wins and 109 losses.
The personnel change that was definitely the most profound, however, at the varsity basketball level in ’04 was the sudden announcement in late spring – Coach Craig Norman the person most responsible for bringing the RMC basketball program to new heights at the OUA competitive level had accepted the head coaching position at McGill.
Craig Norman was a tireless recruiter and he pretty well single-handily “recruited” all the core players on the team over a five year period. We worked along side Craig in ensuring all his potential recruited athletes knew what they were getting into in regards to choosing RMC. In particular providing MOC advice and the difference options available between RETP / ROTP and preparing each “applicant” to be successful at all stages in the application process was our area of expertise. We took it very seriously and treated all the young men and women who were considering starting the process as though we were dealing with one of our own five children.
Rolande and I are both extremely proud of the contributions that we were able to provide to both RMC and the aspiring student – athletes in this mentor role. Kevin Dulude was just one of many, many applicants over close to an eight year period with whom we came in contact and which we spent countless hours in providing the best advice, we could, in ensuring RMC and the CF was the right fit.
2Lt Dulude was finished at RMC in ‘04 – or was he? The Ryerson / CFB Borden education and training package was flexible enough that he if he wished, Kevin could take a minimum of three courses at RMC which would make him eligible for a 5th year of OUA/CIS basketball. This would involve a great deal of travel between Kingston / Borden / Toronto. An awesome challenge even for an All Canadian! The lure of playing another year at the university level was pretty tempting.
But RMC was not his only option.
As a matter of fact, he did seriously consider transferring to another university. By coincidence, that same summer, the CIS announced a policy change that allowed 5th year transfers to play right away – without sitting out a year. The “catch” was – if the student athlete was transferring after completing his undergrad and “if” he were accepted into a PG program.
So, Kevin a young man who we spent a great deal of time with through the complicated CF recruiting process, four years earlier, and who displayed even at that time, a penchant for “looking under every stone” – went to work to figure out what was in his best interest.
He inquired with at least two universities (Ottawa U and McGill) about the possibility of pursuing a Masters in Health Care Management. The McGill option, of course, came to the fore-front because Coach Norman had just moved there! The window of opportunity was small. It was already June and was very late in the admissions process for being able to get registered and accepted into a Masters Program. Even though he had “people on the inside at both institutions” trying to pull strings for his admission – the Health Management option hit a brick wall. However, there was also an opportunity that he could enroll in a Phys Ed Masters program.
Kevin recalls the time period. “I remember the summer before my 5th year. I explored all my options: transferring, staying at RMC, or not playing. When the decision finally came to return to RMC, I knew why I was making the decision, and despite the outcome, I knew that it was the right thing to do. I was being pulled in every which direction and everyone felt they knew what I needed to do – although I appreciated everyone’s insight, I knew that I had to make the decision myself”.
Ultimately, Kevin felt that he and the RMC basketball program had been through quite a bit over the previous four years. He made a conscious well thought out decision that he would finish out his university eligibility at RMC. “I felt that I wanted to finish out my (basketball) career with the RMC team.” He went on to add, “That year, my 5th – it was no longer just about basketball, but about a commitment to the program. I could justify transferring out of RMC if it was to give me a better education and / or that it would help my career, but I didn’t want to leave just to leave.”
By the middle of summer the new RMC – Director of Athletics, Darren Cates with a strong basketball background of his own was in place and he was well aware of Kevin Dulude and what he would mean to the RMC basketball program. “When I arrived at RMC in July 2004, I was VERY excited to learn that Kevin Dulude would be returning to school for a fifth year and would be playing basketball for us”, he stated recently.
It was not an easy decision for Kevin to make, especially given his military commitments. He did not want to add additional years to his obligatory service by doing a PG at RMC. The military HCA program would have him in/out of Kingston throughout the year which he knew would be a challenge. “I can remember racing to the Toronto Airport from Borden for a flight on Friday afternoon, landing in Montreal at 7:30, having my parents drive me for an 8 o’clock game at Concordia”. He went on to add,”I think I barely had enough time to put my uniform on, let alone warm-up”!
Kevin also revealed, “When push came to shove, my decision to stay at RMC was based on the fact that the team had been through so much while I was there and I did not want to let my friends /teammates down”. He spoke about other returning players, “guys like Steve Scriver, Jonathan Carreiro, Grant Anderson, Doug Russell, Matt Bentley, Jared Harnish, Matt McCleod, Adam Asquini, Bryan Mathews and Brad Kracjik”. In all likelihood, the over-riding reason, “I knew that with the loss of Coach Norman, some chemistry would disappear and the chances of us repeating or bettering the previous season were near impossible. Our team had been through so much on and off the basketball court that I felt like I needed to stay.”
To talk basketball during that period, the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of Joe Grozelle has to be mentioned. Joe was a strong point guard and a key member of the team. He was first reported missing when he failed to show up for a team practice. Following exhaustive searches on and near RMC covering three weeks, his body was found in the Cataraqui River Nov. 13th, 2003 very close to the RMC Memorial Arch. The college to a person was devastated. The basketball team to a man was visibly shaken.
To this day, the Grozelle family and most of us who knew Joe are still dumbfounded on what actually happened and how did he lose his life?
Kevin sadly recalls, “Joe is still very close to mind with me. He was a very good friend of mine, and I still have difficulties understanding how/what happened. The events surrounding his disappearance/death are still vivid in my mind. He was an awesome person who had the world ahead of him. There is nothing that I can say that will do justice to how much his disappearance affected the team and myself.”
The 5th year was definitely a challenge for him. He was taking three courses at RMC to maintain his eligibility, and was taking the Health Care Management Program through the joint Canadian Forces Medical Services School and Ryerson.
Despite his talent level and experience, it was very difficult for him to work on his basketball skills and maintain “game shape” fitness level during the military training weeks at CFB Borden. No matter how hard he trained/practiced alone, it made things relatively difficult when he arrived for a game on the weekend without having practiced with the team – all week.
The year was not a great one compared to the previous season. The record for the team sank to
3 wins and 19 losses. His own personal numbers fell slightly but he still ranked with the elite players in the OUA. He managed to play in 21 of 22 scheduled games despite the constraints of MOC training, lack of practice time and the heavy travel load. For the record, the RMC team is a combined one win and 43 losses since he left.
One gentleman who was close to the scene for all five years of the Dulude era was RMC varsity sports manager, Guy Dube, “I was fortunate enough to start working at RMC the same year Kevin came in as a 1st year recruit. It was clear from the start that he was a relentless and unique, if not raw, basketball talent.” The personable Mr. Dube also added, “I had the opportunity to see him play numerous games, and was always impressed by his fierce determination and leadership on the court. No other varsity athlete in my time at RMC has ever worked harder or accomplished more than Kevin did. Few other varsity team captains ever had the devoted and unquestioned following of his teammates.”
What has Kevin Dulude been doing since the RMC days? Following his formal MOC training at Borden / Ryerson he was posted to 1 Canadian Field Hospital in CFB Petawawa in the summer of ’05. He hit the ground running when he found out that he would be deploying with the medical Cell of the Regional Command South Headquarters. He was sent to CFB Edmonton for pre-deployment training the following October for three months and then deployed for nine months February until November 2006.
From all reports, the tour was extremely busy as he was working in the Patient Evacuation Coordination Cell for all of Regional Command South – beyond the AOR of Kandahar Province.
More recently, CFB Wainwright is a regular occurrence for him since he has come back from Afghanistan. His Unit 1 Canadian Field Hospital is responsible for the collective pre-deployment training for the Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit – the Hospital in Kandahar – which means that 1 Cdn Fd Hosp basically have to deploy as a unit (to Wainwright) in October and May of every year for each Battle Group that gets ready to deploy to Afghanistan.
Having deployed in both the Hospital in KAF and the Headquarters in KAF, he is one of the persons involved with coordinating the medical training activities. Needless to say he is now a seasoned veteran and a long way from OUA basketball.
A posting could be in the horizon for the summer of 2008. Asked if he had a number one preference, he responded, “I’m still trying to figure out what’s in store for me in the long haul but for now, I’m working hard and enjoying life in Petawawa. It looks like a posting this summer could be in the works – it looks like I will be making it to the big city of Montreal – my fingers are still crossed.”
Kevin still stays in contact with his first coach at RMC and the person most responsible for steering him to RMC. “I still talk with Coach Norman and look forward to coaching with him some day.”
Friends of RMC, in general and RMC basketball fans, in particular are all invited to attend this special ceremony November 9th.
Rolande and I both plan to be there; best to be seated by 7:40 PM.
Kevin Dulude Box Score at RMC:
4 time Tommy Smart Cup (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year) –
2 Outstanding athletic achievement awards (1st year and 5th year)
2 Whittaker Cup Awards (3rd year and 4th year (co winner with Steve Scriver)
4 athlete of the year awards for respective year (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th)
OUA / CIS :
OUA rookie of the year (2000-2001) and OUA 2nd Team All-Star (2000-2001);
OUA First Team All-Star (2001-2002)
OUA First Team All-Star (2002-2003) and CIS Honourable Mention All-Canadian
OUA First Team All-Star (2003-2004) –
OUA Player of the YEAR &
CIS 1st Team All-Canadian
OUA First Team All-Star (2004-2005)
Canadian Forces Awards:
2001: ADMHR-Mil Athlete of the year
2002: ADMHR-Mil Athlete of the year and Canadian Forces Male Athlete of the Year
2003: CMP Athlete of the year
2004: CMP Athlete of the year
2005: CMP Athlete of the year