Catching up with: Don Dufek

Posted Jul 12, 2013

One of the original Seahawks, Don Dufek came to the team as a fifth-round draft choice in 1976. But he earned a special place in franchise history by becoming the only player to lead the club in special-teams tackles four times.

What he did: One of the original Seahawks, Dufek was a fifth-round draft choice in 1976 as a cornerback from the University of Michigan. He played for the team in 1976-77 and again from 1979-84. Dufek played in 95 games, with six starts – and five of those came at strong safety in 1977. But Dufek’s claim to fame is that he’s the only player in franchise history to lead the club in special-teams tackles four times – 1976, with 15; 1979, with 18; 1980, with 13; and 1983, with 18. Niko Koutouvides did it three times, and Rufus Porter, Isaiah Kacyvenski and Heath Farwell twice. Dufek was unaware of his special place in Seahawks history, but offered with a laugh, “I’m happy to hear that. Another trivia fact I can throw at people.” More trivia: He also was special teams captain in 1981 and 1982.

What he’s doing: Dufek is a general contractor who builds and remodels homes in Ann Arbor. He learned the trade in the Seattle area for five years after his career with the Seahawks ended, and then moved “home.” He and his wife, Candi, have been married for 32 years. Their daughter, Jacqueline, is 26 and graduated from nursing school at Michigan. Their son, Francis, is 24 and a recent film school graduate who lives in Los Angeles. “Time is marching on,” Dufek said. “But they’re both doing well. Candi is doing well. And I’m, for the most part, doing well.”


If I could have dinner with anyone – living or dead – it would be: “That’s a great question, and I don’t have a great answer.”

Must-see TV: “I don’t watch a whole lot of TV. I flip through them. I suppose sporting events.”

The best book I’ve ever read: “The category would probably be biographies. And I liked the one on Steve Jobs.”


My best memory as a Seahawk: “The year we had a lot of success and made it to the playoffs (12-4 in 1984) was great. Other than that, the inception year – the year the team came into being (1976).  That was so unique. It was a new team. We would be beaten badly and we’d get a standing ovation. You get a little chuckle off it because you say, ‘Boy, we were a pretty bad team (2-14) and we were just universally loved.’ It was unbelievable.”

Something most people don’t know about me: “Most everybody knows more about me than I know about myself.”

If I could relive one day in my life: “I don’t really need to relive any days, really. I’m pretty happy.”