American Football Database
Duke Blue Devils football
100px 140px
First season 1895
Athletic director Kevin White
Head coach David Cutcliffe
Home stadium Wallace Wade Stadium
Stadium capacity 33,941
Stadium surface Grass
Location Durham, North Carolina
Conference ACC
Division Coastal
All-time record 456–474–31
Postseason bowl record 3–5
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 17 (7 ACC, 10 Southern)
Heisman winners 0
Consensus All-Americans 4
Current uniform
Colors Duke Blue and White            
Fight song "Fight! Blue Devils, Fight!"
"Blue and White"
Mascot Blue Devil
Marching band Duke University Marching Band
Rivals North Carolina
Wake Forest
NC State

The Duke Blue Devils football team represents Duke University in the sport of American football. The Blue Devils compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The program has 17 conference championships (7 ACC championships and 10 Southern Conference titles), 53 All-Americans, 10 ACC Players of the Year (the most in the ACC), and have had three Pro Football Hall of Famers come through the program (second in the ACC to only Miami's four).[1] The team is currently coached by David Cutcliffe and play their home games at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.

Team history

File:Wallace Wade Stadium 2005 Virginia Tech at Duke.jpg

Wallace Wade Stadium, home to Duke football and site of the 1942 Rose Bowl.

In 1930, Wallace Wade shocked the college football world by leaving Alabama for Duke, 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. The team won 7 Southern Conference championships in the 16 years that Wade was coach. He also led the team to 2 Rose Bowls. Wade's achievements placed him in the College Football Hall of Fame.

The most famous Duke football season came in 1938, when the "Iron Dukes" went unscored upon for the entire regular season. Duke reached their first Rose Bowl appearance, where they lost 7-3 when Southern California scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game on a pass from a second string quarterback to a third string tight end.

Duke would be invited again to make the trip to Pasadena for the 1942 Rose Bowl, this time to play Oregon State in 1942. Due to fears of additional west coast attacks by the Japanese in the wake of Pearl Harbor, the decision was made to move the game to Durham. As Duke's stadium was significantly smaller than the regular venue, bleachers were borrowed from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina, which boosted capacity from 35,000 to 55,000. Despite being 3 to 1 favorites, the Iron Dukes would lose the game 20 to 16.

The football program also proved successful in the 1950s and 1960s, winning six of the first ten ACC football championships from 1953 to 1962 under coach Bill Murray.[2] From 1943 until 1957, the Blue Devils were ranked in the AP Poll at some point in the season.

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 a share of the ACC title in 1989. 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 Title in 2006.

The team rose to prominence again 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.

Since 1994, however, Duke's football program has declined, with the team lacking a winning season since. From 1999 to 2007, Duke's football win-loss record was at 13-90;[3] from 2005 to 2007 Duke suffered a 22-game losing streak.[4] In 2008, a judge ruled in favor of Duke after they pulled out of a four-game contract with the University of Louisville; the judge stated that it was up to Louisville to find a suitable replacement as he wrote, in the ruling, that any Division I team would be equivalent or better.[3] Duke's 2009 season gave them five wins and seven losses, the closest the school has come to bowl eligibility since 1994.[5]

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.[6]

Duke in the Polls

Year Final AP Poll Final Coaches Poll
1936 #11
1937 #20
1938 #3
1939 #8
1940 #18
1941 #2
1943 #7
1944 #11
1945 #13
1947 #19
1952 #16 #18
1953 #18 #18
1954 #14 #14
1955 #16
1956 #20
1957 #16 #14
1960 #10 #11
1961 #20 #14
1962 #14

Since 1962, Duke has only appeared in the polls during 1971, 1989 and 1994.

Duke has never been ranked #1 in the AP or Coaches polls.

There have been 253 straight AP Polls without Duke since 1994 (the 13th longest streak in the NCAA).

Conference affiliations

Independent (1889–1894, 1920–1929)

Southern Conference (1930–1952)

Atlantic Coast Conference (1953–present) (charter member)

Conference championships

Southern Conference: 1933, 1935, 1936, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1952

Atlantic Coast Conference: 1953*, 1954, 1955*, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1989*

  • co-champions

Bowl games

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA Notes
1939 Rose Bowl L Southern California 3 7
1942 Rose Bowl L Oregon State 16 20
1945 Sugar Bowl W Alabama 29 26
1955 Orange Bowl W Nebraska 34 7
1958 Orange Bowl L Oklahoma 21 48
1961 Cotton Bowl Classic W Arkansas 7 6
1989 All American Bowl L Texas Tech 21 49
1995 Hall of Fame Bowl L Wisconsin 20 34
Total 8 bowl games 3-5


North Carolina

The Blue Devils traditional all sport rivalry is with the North Carolina Tar Heels and is called the Carolina–Duke rivalry. In football, the teams fight for the Victory Bell each year. The series is 58-35-4 in favor of North Carolina. The trophy series is 42-20-1 in favor of North Carolina.


Like in basketball, the Maryland Terrapins do not have a a rivalry with Duke in football. The series is 30-19-0 in favor of Maryland.

Wake Forest

Duke maintains a Tobacco Road rivalry with Wake Forest. The series is 53-32-2 in favor of Duke.

NC State

The series with NC State is 40-36-5 in favor of Duke.


Outland Trophy

Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award

  • Fred Goldsmith (1994)

Southern Conference Coach of the Year

ACC Coach of the Year

ACC Player of the Year

ACC Rookie of the Year

College Football Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Consensus All-Americans


External links