Duke Blue Devils

The Duke Blue Devils are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina. Duke's athletics department features 27 varsity teams that all compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level. The name comes from the French "les Diables Bleus" or "the Blue Devils," which was the nickname given during World War I to the Chasseurs Alpins, the French Alpine light infantry battalion.[2][3]

Duke Blue Devils
UniversityDuke University
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
NCAADivision I (FBS)
Athletic directorKevin White
LocationDurham, North Carolina
Varsity teams27
Football stadiumWallace Wade Stadium
Basketball arenaCameron Indoor Stadium
Baseball stadiumJack Coombs Field
Soccer stadiumKoskinen Stadium
MascotBlue Devil
NicknameBlue Devils
Fight songFight! Blue Devils, Fight!
Blue and White
ColorsDuke Blue and White[1]

Duke joined the Southern Conference in 1929, and left in 1953 to become a founder of the Atlantic Coast Conference.


Teams for then Trinity College were known originally as the Trinity Eleven, the Blue and White or the Methodists. William H. Lander, as editor-in-chief, and Mike Bradshaw, as managing editor, of the Trinity Chronicle began the academic year 1922-23 referring to the athletic teams as the Blue Devils. The Chronicle staff continued its use and through repetition, Blue Devils eventually caught on.

The Blue Devils have won 17 NCAA National Championships. The women's golf team has won seven (1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, and 2019),[4] the men's basketball team has won five (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, and 2015), men's lacrosse has won three (2010, 2013 and 2014), and the men's soccer (1986) and women's tennis (2009) teams have won one each. Duke's major historic rival, especially in basketball, has been the Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (see Duke-Carolina rivalry).

Duke has also captured 119 ACC Championships, 44 of which have come since 1999–2000 (through 2008–09).[5] Duke's teams hold the longest streak of consecutive ACC Championships in women's tennis (14), women's golf (13), men's basketball (5), women's basketball (5) and volleyball (4, tied). The men's basketball (18), women's golf (16), and women's tennis (16) lead individual programs, while men's tennis (12), volleyball (9), football (7), men's cross country (7), men's lacrosse (7), men's golf (6), men's soccer (5), women's basketball (5), baseball (3), women's cross country (2) and women's lacrosse (1)[5] have also captured titles. Duke boasts the most ACC Championships in women's golf, women's tennis, and men's basketball; the second most in men's tennis and volleyball; and third most in women's basketball, women's cross country and women's lacrosse.

In the past five years, Duke has finished in the top 20 every year in the NACDA Director's Cup, an overall measure of an institution's athletic success. Most recently, Duke has finished 10th (2010),[6] 17th (2009),[7] 19th (2008),[8] 11th (2007),[9] eighth (2006),[10] and fifth (2005).[11] Duke has the smallest undergraduate enrollment of any institution that has been in the top 35 the past two years.[10][11] Furthermore, Duke is the only school besides Stanford that has finished in the top 20 in the past three years that has fewer than 10,000 undergraduates.[10][11]

Duke teams that have been ranked in the top ten nationally in the 2000s include men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's lacrosse, women's field hockey, and men's and women's golf. Eight of these teams were ranked either first or second in the country during 2004–05.[12] According to a 2006 evaluation conducted by the NCAA, Duke's student-athletes have the highest graduation rate of any institution in the nation at 91%.[13] Excluding students who leave or transfer in good academic standing, the graduation rate of student-athletes is 97%.[14] There have been allegations that, like most other schools examined such as North Carolina, Duke's graduation rate may be inflated or be a result of athletes gravitating to easier courses and majors, though many have taken issue with such claims.[15][16][17]


Men's sports Women's sports
BasketballCross country
Cross countryFencing
FencingField hockey
Swimming & divingSoftball
TennisSwimming & diving
Track and fieldTennis
WrestlingTrack and field
† – Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.

Men's basketball

Duke University's men's basketball team is the fourth-winningest college basketball program of all-time, particularly since 1980 under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is nicknamed "Coach K". They have won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship five times, all under Krzyzewski, which is second behind the University of North Carolina for any ACC team, and have been in 16 Final Fours. Seventy-one players have been drafted in the NBA Draft. Additionally, Duke has had an Academic All-American on the team fourteen years. Duke has 21 Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships (1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1978, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017, 2019), the most of any team in the ACC (the University of North Carolina has 17). Duke also has been the top seed in the ACC tournament 19 times (1954, 1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2010).[18] Duke is second, behind only UCLA, in total weeks ranked as the number one team in the nation by the AP with 110 weeks.[19] The Blue Devils have the second longest streak in the AP Top 25 in history with 200 consecutive appearances from 1996 to 2007. This streak only trails UCLA's 221 consecutive polls from 1966–1980 as the longest of all-time.[20] The streak ended with the AP poll released on February 12, 2007.[21]

Women's basketball

During the 1990s and 2000s, the Duke women's basketball program has become a national powerhouse. Led by coach Gail Goestenkors from 1992–2007, Duke made ten NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, seven Elite Eight appearances, four Final Four appearances, and two appearances in the NCAA Championship game during her tenure.[22]

In the 2000–01 season, the Blue Devils posted a 30–4 record, won the ACC Tournament and ACC regular season championships, and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The 2001–02 season produced similar success. She led the Blue Devils to a 31–4 record and an NCAA Final Four appearance. Duke became the first ACC school to produce an undefeated 19–0 record in the ACC by winning the regular season and Tournament titles.

Goestenkors led the Blue Devils to an ACC-record 35–2 ledger in the 2002–03 season and their second straight NCAA Final Four appearance. For the second consecutive year, Duke posted a 19–0 record against ACC opponents.

In 2003–04, with Player of the year Alana Beard leading the way, the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, boasting a 30–4 record, and won a fourth-straight Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title and a fifth-straight ACC Tournament championship. Duke also broke the University of Connecticut's 76-game home winning streak with a 68–67 buzzer-beater victory in Hartford, Connecticut.[23]

The 2006–07 season ended with a 32–2 record and notched the school's first ever undefeated regular season (30–0). This also set an NCAA-record seventh straight 30-win season. Goestenkors is often known as the "winningest coach not to have won a championship", having finished runner-up two times in fifteen years.

On April 18, 2007, Joanne P. McCallie, or Coach P, was introduced as the new coach of Duke's women's basketball team after Goestenkors left for the University of Texas.[24][25][26] Through 2011, the Blue Devils have won seven ACC Championships, the third most in the ACC.


The most famous Duke football season came in 1938, when Wallace Wade was head coach and the "Iron Dukes" were born. Wade shocked the college football world by leaving Alabama for Duke in 1930, later rationalizing the move by saying that Duke shared his belief that a school should provide its athletes with a strong academic background. Wade's success at Alabama (three national championships) translated well to Duke's program, most notably in 1938, when his "Iron Dukes" went unscored upon the entire regular season. Duke reached their first Rose Bowl appearance, where they lost 7–3 when USC scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game on a pass from a second-string quarterback to a third string tight end. Wade's Blue Devils lost another Rose Bowl to Oregon State in 1942, this one held at Duke's home stadium in Durham, North Carolina due to Pearl Harbor. Wade's achievements placed him in the Hall of Fame.

The football program also had a string of successful years in the late 1980s when the team was coached by Steve Spurrier. Spurrier led the Blue Devils to three consecutive winning seasons from 1987–1989, culminating with the Blue Devils sharing the ACC title in 1989 and playing in the All-American Bowl, where the Blue Devils lost to Texas Tech. The 1989 ACC title was the last title won by a school in the state of North Carolina until Wake Forest won their second ACC crown in 2006.

The team also rose to prominence in 1994, the first season under coach Fred Goldsmith. The team raced out to an 8–1 record, and was briefly ranked as high as #13 in the country before losing the last two games of the season 24–23 to North Carolina State and 41–40 to arch-rival North Carolina. The 1994 team played in the program's first New Years Day Bowl game since 1962, falling to Wisconsin 34–21 in the Hall of Fame Bowl, now known as the Outback Bowl.

The Blue Devils are coached by David Cutcliffe, who had been head coach at Ole Miss and offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee. They have won seven ACC Football Championships, which is the fourth most in the ACC trailing only Clemson, FSU, and Maryland. Ten ACC Football Players of the Year have come from Duke, the most in the ACC. Additionally, three 3 Pro Football Hall of Famers have come through Duke's program, second only to the Miami Hurricanes who have had 4 Hall of Famers, for the most in the ACC.

Duke is consistently ranked at or near the top of the list of Division I-A schools which graduate nearly all of their football players. Duke has topped the list 12 years, earning it the most Academic Achievement Awards of any university. Notre Dame has been honored six times, while Boston College and Northwestern have won the award four times each.[27]


Nate Freiman ('09), who became a first baseman for the Oakland Athletics, holds Duke's career home run record (43), the Duke career slugging percentage record (.616), and the school's second-highest all-time batting average (.356).[28][29][30]


Megan Cooke is the head coach for Duke's rowing teams. Her husband Simon Carcagno is also part of the coaching staff.


Women's golf

While the men's basketball team gets the most press, the women's golf team has recently been the most successful team on campus. In the 2000–2005 seasons, Duke's head-to-head record was 796–45–3, a winning percentage of .945.[31] The team won national championships in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, and 2019 as well as 13 consecutive ACC championships from 1995–2008.[5] A number of successful professional golfers have gone through Duke's program. Jenny Chuasiriporn and Brittany Lang finished as runners-up in the U.S. Women's Open while still undergraduates in 1998 and 2005, respectively. Laetitia Beck, who won the Israeli championship at the age of 12 and was named ACC Rookie of the Year in 2011, played for the team.[32] In 2014, Beck became the first Israeli to qualify for a major professional golf tour.

Men's golf

The men's golf team has won 20 conference championships:

Their best finish in the NCAA Championship was second place in 1947.

Duke golfers who have had successful professional careers include Art Wall, Jr. (14 PGA Tour wins including the 1959 Masters Tournament), Mike Souchak (15 PGA Tour wins), Skip Alexander (three PGA Tour wins), Joe Ogilvie (one PGA Tour win, four Web.com Tour wins), and Kevin Streelman (two PGA Tour wins).[33]

The Duke men's golf team has been coached by Jamie Gree since January 9, 2009. T.D. Luton is the assistant coach. There are 9 players on their roster. Duke was ranked 7th in the U.S. by Golfweek in 2015.[34]

Men's lacrosse

The men's lacrosse program has risen in prominence to challenge the traditional lacrosse powers such as Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Princeton, and Syracuse, as well as more recent contenders like North Carolina and Virginia. The team won the national title in 2010 after defeating Notre Dame 6–5 in overtime and won their second national title in 2013 after defeating Syracuse 16–10. The Blue Devils then repeated in 2014, defeating Notre Dame 11-9 to win their second straight national championship and third in five years. They also reached the championship game in 2005 and 2007.[35][36]

The men's lacrosse team gained national attention in the 2006 lacrosse incident, where members of the team were falsely accused of raping an exotic dancer at a team party. The investigation led to the cancellation of the 2006 season and the resignation of coach Mike Pressler. Contradictions in the accuser's many changing stories, unimpeachable alibi evidence provided by the players, and misconduct of then-Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong led to all charges being dropped and the attorney general declaring the players innocent. Nifong was later removed and disbarred due to his misconduct in the case, and the team members who lost their season were granted another year of eligibility.

Women's softball

The team is in their second year of competing in the ACC.

Men's soccer

The 1986 team won the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship.

Women's soccer

The women's soccer team was founded in 1988.[37] The team has advanced to the NCAA Tournament 23 times, and finished as runners up three times. The team has won the ACC regular season title three times.

Women's field hockey


Duke is a Division I field hockey program. The field hockey program was established in 1971.[38] Duke field hockey participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

All-Time Program Record 487-418-17
NCAA Tournament Appearances 15
ACC Regular Season Championship 1
NCAA Final Four Appearances 6
All-American Selections 50


Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium is home to the Duke Field Hockey team. The facility is located on the University's East campus at 705 Broad St., Durham, NC. The facility was completed in 1996 and then was renovated on 2011. Jack Katz stadium boasts, a top notch water system, state of the art sound system and scoreboard, bleachers, a pressbox, LED lighting system, and facilities for players and coaches.[39]

Men and women's swimming

The team is coached by Dan Colella.

Men's Diving

Comedian Cody Kolodziejzyk (Commonly known as Cody Ko) competed on the team from the 2008-2009 season to the 2011-2012 season. In the 2008-2009 season, he set the school record in the 3-meter dive, scoring 374.40.


In 1929 the Blue Devil Wrestling team was founded. The team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and is coached by Oklahoma State University 1988 graduate Glen Lanham.[40] Ed Newman, who went on to a 12-year NFL career in football, won All Conference honors twice as a heavyweight wrestle, and twice won the ACC heavyweight championship.[41] The team competes on campus in the Card Gymnasium. In 2009, heavyweight Konrad Dudziak became Duke's first All-American placing 2nd in 2009 and 4th in 2010. Conner Hartmann became the program's first three-time All-American, finishing 5th in 2014, 6th in 2015, and 7th in 2016.

Duke's best finish at the NCAA Tournament was 22nd in 2018.


NCAA team championships

Duke has 17 NCAA team national championships.[42]

Other national championship game appearances

ACC Athletes of the Year

The following Duke athletes have been honored as an ACC Athlete of the Year. The men's award, the Anthony J. McKelvin Award, began when the ACC was formed in 1954. The women's award, the Mary Garber Award, began in 1990.

Male Athlete of the Year

1954Joel ShankleTrack & Field
1956Dave SimeTrack & Field/Basketball
1960Mike McGeeFootball
1963Art HeymanBasketball
1964Jeff MullinsBasketball
1988Danny FerryBasketball
1989Danny FerryBasketball
1990Clarkston HinesFootball
1991Christian LaettnerBasketball
1992Christian LaettnerBasketball
1999Elton BrandBasketball
2001Shane BattierBasketball
2006J.J. RedickBasketball
2009Nate FreimanBaseball
2010Ned CrottyLacrosse
2015Laken TomlinsonFootball
2019Zion WilliamsonBasketball
Female Athlete of the Year

1998Vanessa WebbTennis
2003Alana BeardBasketball
2004Alana BeardBasketball
2007Lindsey HardingBasketball
2009Amanda BlumenherstGolf
2012Becca WardFencing


There have been numerous All-Americans in Duke University history. As of March 2006, 307 athletes have been honored 470 times as All-Americans.[43] In men's sports, this status has been achieved 297 times by 204 athletes. In women's sports, it has occurred 172 times by 103 athletes. The breakdown for men's sports is as follows (times, number of different athletes): baseball (13, 8); basketball (55, 31); cross country (3, 2); fencing (9, 5); football (60, 53); golf (12, 9); lacrosse (57, 37); soccer (42, 28); swimming and diving (3, 3); tennis (26, 15); track and field (17, 13); wrestling (3, 2). The breakdown for women's sports is as follows (times, number of different athletes): basketball (14, 8); cross country (8, 6); fencing (4, 2); field hockey (19, 12); golf (31, 16); lacrosse (23, 11); rowing (5, 3); soccer (10, 8); swimming and diving (1, 1); tennis (36, 22); track and field (15, 9); volleyball (7, 5).


Duke Olympians[44]
Joel ShankleTrack & Field1956 MelbourneUnited StatesBronze in 110 Hurdles
Dave SimeTrack & Field1960 RomeUnited StatesSilver in 100 Meters
Jeff MullinsM Basketball1964 TokyoUnited StatesTeam Won Gold
Bob WheelerTrack & Field1972 MunichUnited StatesSemifinals in 1500 run
Al Buehler*Track & Field1972 MunichUnited StatesTeam Manager
Tate ArmstrongM Basketball1976 MontrealUnited StatesTeam Won Gold
Cameron HallM Basketball1976 MontrealCanadaTeam Placed 4th
Nancy HogsheadSwimming1980 MoscowUnited StatesUnited States Boycotted Games
Nancy HogsheadSwimming1984 Los AngelesUnited States3 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal
Dan MeagherM Basketball1984 Los AngelesCanadaTeam Placed 4th
Tom KainSoccer1984 Los AngelesUnited StatesInjured, Did Not Compete
Bert GovigWrestling1984 Los AngelesUnited StatesInjured, Did Not Compete
Al Buehler*Track and Field1984 Los AngelesUnited StatesTeam Manager
Al Buehler*Track and Field1988 SeoulUnited StatesTeam Manager
Christian LaettnerM Basketball1992 BarcelonaUnited StatesTeam Won Gold
Mike Krzyzewski*M Basketball1992 BarcelonaUnited StatesAssistant Coach, Team Won Gold
John MooreRowing1992 BarcelonaUnited States8th in Men's Pair
Randy JonesBobsled1994 LillehammerUnited States13th in 2-Man
Grant HillM Basketball1996 AtlantaUnited StatesTeam Won Gold
Curt ClausenTrack & Field1996 AtlantaUnited States50th in 20k Race Walk
Leslie MarxFencing1996 AtlantaUnited StatesTop 16 in Épée
Horace HoldenCanoe/Kayak1996 AtlantaUnited States11th in 2-Man Whitewater Slalom
Will MartinYachting1996 AtlantaUnited States23rd in Single-Handed Dinghy
Carla Overbeck*W Soccer1996 AtlantaUnited StatesTeam Won Gold
Liz Tchou*Field Hockey1996 AtlantaUnited StatesTeam Placed 5th
Randy JonesBobsled1998 NaganoUnited States5th in 4-Man
Crawford PalmerM Basketball2000 SydneyFranceTeam Won Silver
Greg NewtonM Basketball2000 SydneyCanadaTeam Placed 7th
Curt ClausenTrack and Field2000 SydneyUnited States22nd in 50k Race Walk
Evan WhitfieldM Soccer2000 SydneyUnited StatesTeam Placed 4th
Vanessa WebbW Tennis2000 SydneyCanadaCompeted in Doubles
Carla OverbeckW Soccer2000 SydneyUnited StatesTeam Won Silver
Lynda Blutreich*Track & Field2000 SydneyUnited States11th in Javelin Qualifying
Randy JonesBobsled2002 Salt Lake CityUnited StatesSilver in 4-Man
Curt ClausenTrack & Field2004 AthensUnited States32nd in 50k Race Walk
Carlos BoozerM Basketball2004 AthensUnited StatesTeam Won Bronze
Jilian SchwartzTrack & Field2004 AthensUnited StatesCompeted in Pole Vault
Gail Goestenkors*W Basketball2004 AthensUnited StatesAssistant Coach, Team Won Gold
Randy JonesBobsled2006 TorinoUnited StatesHis Fourth Olympics
Carlos BoozerM Basketball2008 BeijingUnited StatesTeam Won Gold
Mike Krzyzewski*M Basketball2008 BeijingUnited StatesHead Coach, Team Won Gold
Shannon RowburyTrack & Field2008 BeijingUnited StatesQualified for 1,500-m final
Rebecca SmithW Soccer2008 BeijingNew Zealand
Rebecca WardFencing2008 BeijingUnited StatesBronze in Individual Sabre and Team Sabre
Luol DengM Basketball2012 LondonGreat Britain
Drew Johansen*Diving2012 LondonUnited StatesHead Coach
Abby JohnstonSynchronized Diving2012 LondonUnited StatesWon Silver in synchronized 3 metre springboard
Mike Krzyzewski*M Basketball2012 LondonUnited StatesHead Coach, Team Won Gold
Nick McCrorySynchronized and Individual Diving2012 LondonUnited StatesWon Bronze in synchronized 10 metre platform
Shannon RowburyTrack & Field2012 LondonUnited States
Jillian SchwartzTrack & Field2012 LondonIsrael
Rebecca SmithW Soccer2012 LondonNew Zealand
Hiroshi Hoketsu[45]Dressage2012 LondonJapanOldest Olympian at 2012 Games (71)

Note: * indicates Duke coach at time of participation in Olympics

Other news

In 2008, five Duke graduates qualified for the Olympic marathon trials, more than any other university.[46]

History of the mascot

As World War I ended, Duke's Board of Trustees, then called the "Trinity College Board of Trustees", lifted their quarter century ban of football on campus leading to an interest in naming the athletic teams.[47] The team was then known as the Trinity Eleven, the Blue and White, or the Methodists (as opposed to the Baptists of nearby rival Wake Forest University). Because of the ambiguity, the student newspaper, the Trinity Chronicle (now called The Chronicle) launched a campaign to create a new mascot. Nominations for a new team name included Catamounts, Grizzlies, Badgers, Dreadnaughts, and Captains. The Trinity Chronicle editor narrowed the many nominations down to those that utilized the school colors of dark blue and white. The narrowed list consisted of Blue Titans, Blue Eagles, polar bears, Blue Devils, Royal Blazes, and Blue Warriors. None of the nominations proved to be a clear favorite, but the name Blue Devils elicited criticism that could potentially engender opposition on campus. These fears were partly alleviated when it was revealed that the name was military and patriotic rather than anti-religious; the name actually refers to the Chasseurs Alpins, also known as "les diables bleus" ("The Blue Devils"), a French military unit which had impressed many Duke students and alumni returning home from the Western Front. The nickname of the Chasseurs Alpins was derived from the blue jacket and blue-grey breeches worn as part of their World War I-era uniform. Even with this explanation, however, that year's football season passed with no official selection.

During the 1922–1923 academic year, campus student leaders and the editors of the two other student publications, The Archive and The Chanticleer, decided that the newspaper staff should decide the name on their own because the nomination process had proved inconclusive. Editor-in-chief William H. Lander and managing editor Mike Bradshaw began referring to the athletic teams as the Blue Devils. Though the name was not officially used that year, no opposition to the name arose. The Chronicle's staff continued to use the name and eventually "Blue Devils" became the official mascot and nickname of the Duke athletics program.

Fight songs

See: Blue and White (Duke fight song) and Fight! Blue Devils, Fight!


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