Dr. John Duke
Dr. John P. Duke, Jr. was hired as the dean of men, track and cross country coach and physical education instructor at Cumberland College in 1959. Dr. Duke was instrumental in forming the first track team in the spring of 1960. He continued to serve as head track and cross country coach until his retirement from coaching in 1965.
It didn't take long for Dr. Duke to establish Cumberland as a winner in track circles. In fact in the early 1960's the national sports magazine Coach and Athlete recognized Cumberland as one of the "most feared track teams" in the Southeast. The reason was simple, under Duke, Cumberland won often. During his tenure as track and cross country coach Cumberland won over 320 times. His 1962 cross country team competed in the Naitonal Jr. AAU meet in Detroit, Michigan and placed fifth out of forty teams. In 1963 his Cross Country team defeated every school in the state of Kentucky including the University of Kentucky. His cross country team defeated the University of Tennessee three consecutive years (1962, 63, 64).
During Dr. Duke's six years as coach, he guided many prominent names in Cumberland track and cross country history including Henry Morgan, Gordon Bocock, current coach Floyd Stroud and Hall of Famers John Faulkner and Pete Melzoni. After his retirement from coaching, Dr. Duke remained active in athletics in other ways. He was a long time member of the Cumberland Athletic Committee and coordinated game taping of basketball games.
Before his retirement from Cumberland in 1995, he was named by the Board of Trustees as "Dean Emeritus of Student Personnel Services". Duke presently resides in Williamsburg.