Tag Archives: sports

Playing Around

For several months now, I have been working my way through several thousand acetate negatives transferred to the University Archives from the Sports Information Office.

Dinkey and Jap reenact William Tell.
Dinkey and Jap reenact William Tell.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about finding negatives of women students playing baseball, which was an unexpected, yet welcomed, find. Today I came across another unexpected image, seen above. Described as “football miscellany,” it features football players, Leonard “Dinkey” Darnell and Jasper “Jap” Davis, in an iconic archery pose, dated July 1939. I wish I knew the story behind this image. Was it from a physical education class on archery? The Women’s Athletic Association had an archery season. Maybe the men joined them one afternoon for a bit of fun? I hope you enjoy the image as much as I do.

Post contributed by Kim Sims, Technical Services Archivist for University Archives.

Defeating the Demon Deacons in the 1930s

This past Saturday, Duke’s football team defeated Wake Forest, 34-27 (Go, Duke!).

In honor of this victory, the Duke University Archives thought it would be fun to share some historical photos we recently received from the Sports Information Office.  These action shots are from football games in 1931 and 1932 show Duke playing (and defeating: 28-0 in 1931 and 9-0 in 1932) Wake Forest.

Duke vs. Wake Forest, 1931
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1931
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1931
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1931
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1932
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1932
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1932
Duke vs. Wake Forest, October 1932

For more Duke football, check out our digital collection of Duke football game program covers or our set of football team photos on Flickr. Or, stop by the University Archives and look through the Football Records!

Post contributed by Kimberly Sims, Technical Services Archivist for Duke University Archives.

Assistant Coaches as Style Icons

Or, A Sartorial Look at the Sports Information Office Records

For the last two months, I have been processing a large accession of materials from the Duke Sports Information Office. The vast majority of the accession consists of photographs and negatives from Duke football teams, served with a side of basketball and seasoned with photos of other teams and individual athletes. As you can imagine, I have gone through many generations of athletes, coaches, and of course, fashion trends. This post is dedicated to a few assistant football coaches who weren’t afraid to show add some fashion flair to their official photos.

Assistant Football Coach John Guy
Assistant Football Coach John Guy shows us his kitchen style. The no-apron look was very in that season.


I should also say outright: I love sports, particularly college athletics. I did my undergraduate work at a football school. I have free t-shirts from at least a dozen other athletic teams at my undergrad school. My graduate degrees are from . . . well, another school in the Triangle with a basketball team. As a result, processing this collection has been a lot of fun for me.


Assistant Football Coach David Holton is a man who is not afraid of mixing patterns and textures in his outfits. Stripes, plaid, and corduroy: very boho-chic.

During my time processing the Sports Information Collection, I’ve noticed something about the coaching staff photos: although the head coaches by and large have fairly tame outfits, the assistant coaches most certainly do not. Perhaps they want to ensure that players can see them on the sideline/courtside? Maybe they just love mythologically-inspired ties? We’ll probably never know for sure!


The Ties of John Gutekunst

The photos above showcase the ties of Freshman Football Coach John Gutekunst. I’ve taken the liberty of calling out the patterns on both so that you can see in better detail. Clearly, Gutekunst stayed with the animal theme over the course of his career—by the later picture, he even ventured to wear a butterfly shirt with the mythological tie!

To close out this post, I think we should all tip our hats to the adventurous styles of these assistant football coaches. They have showed us how to look cool on the sidelines, in the kitchen, and in your formal yearbook photos. Keep up the great work!

Now tell me: who’s your style icon? Are you channeling Guy’s daring “no-apron” look, Holton’s mixed patterns and textures, or Gutekunst’s animal-themed accessories?

Post contributed by Maureen McCormick, Drill Intern for the Duke University Archives.

Duke’s Olympic Coaching Legacy

If you have a TV, you’ve probably been tuned in to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In the first week of action, Duke coaches Mike Krzyzewski (basketball) and Drew Johansen (diving) led Team USA to impressive victories on the court and two medals in the pool.

George Lyon, professional trapshooter.

But did you know that Duke’s tradition of Olympic coaching excellence dates back at least 100 years? George Leonidas Lyon, a Durham native and grandson of Washington Duke, coached the U.S. Trapshooting team to both team and individual gold medals in the Games of the V Olympiad held in Stockholm, Sweden in 1912. Lyon was a three-time trapshooting world champion and turned professional in 1910 under the sponsorship of the Remington Arms Company. Because of his professional status, Lyon could not compete in the 1912 Olympic Games, but he coached the U.S. Trapshooting team to victory by a considerable margin over Great Britain and Germany.

Judges at the Stockholm Olympics, 1912.
George Lyon coaching a pupil in shooting.

In addition to his celebrated shooting career, Lyon was an influential figure in the Durham business community, which earned him the nickname “Chief Bull Durham.”  He reportedly owned the first automobile in Durham. Despite his business acumen, Lyon continued shooting professionally until he contracted tuberculosis in 1916 at age 35 and died after a short convalescence in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Upon his death, Sporting Life, a prominent Philadelphia newspaper, recognized Lyon as “one of the greatest trap shooters that ever stepped to the firing line.”  A special trapshooting cartridge, the George Lyon Load, was named after him and in 1976 Lyon was inducted into the Trapshooting Hall of Fame in Vandalia, Ohio.

The Rubenstein Library’s George Leonidas Lyon Papers document Lyon’s career as a professional marksman, along with his relationship to the Duke family and Durham.

Post contributed by Noah Huffman, Archivist for Metadata and Encoding in the Technical Services Dept.

Bob Harris on the 1942 Rose Bowl

Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Biddle Rare Book Room
Contact Information: Amy McDonald, 919-681-7987 or amy.mcdonald(at)duke.edu

Join “Voice of the Blue Devils” Bob Harris as he shares thoughts on how Duke football has changed from the legendary 1942 Rose Bowl held in Wallace Wade Stadium to today’s modern game. He will also talk about the impact of the game on campus beyond the stadium walls.

Rosemary Davis and Jessica Wood, curators of the current “From Campus to Cockpit” exhibit, will highlight photographs and other artifacts from the 1942 Rose Bowl, including archival film from the game.

Following the presentation, game day refreshments will be served, and Harris will sign copies of his autobiography, How Sweet it Is! From the Cotton Mill to the Crow’s Nest.

“From Campus to Cockpit” is on display in the hallway cases outside the Biddle Rare Book Room through January 29th. An online exhibit—including the complete film of the game recorded by Duke’s coaching staff—is also available.

Articles on the 1942 Rose Bowl and the exhibit recently appeared in Duke Magazine and the Durham Herald-Sun.

Aerial Photograph of Duke Stadium during 1942 Rose Bowl
Aerial Photograph of Duke Stadium during 1942 Rose Bowl. From the University Archives Photograph Collection.