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Duke Blue Devils
Founded: 1938
Duke text logo.svg
University Duke University
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Location Durham, North Carolina
Coach John Danowski (2007-present year)
Stadium Koskinen Stadium
(Capacity: 7,000)
Nickname Blue Devils
Colors Duke Blue and White
NCAA tournament runner up
2005, 2007
NCAA tournament semifinals
1997, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
NCAA tournament quarterfinals
1994, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
NCAA tournament appearances
1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
Conference tournament champions
1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009
Conference champions
1939, 1946, 1954

The Duke Blue Devils men's lacrosse team represents Duke University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's lacrosse. Duke currently competes as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and plays its home games at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, North Carolina.


The first lacrosse game played by Duke took place on April 9, 1938, when the Blue Devils traveled to meet their nearby rivals, North Carolina, which itself had just formed a team the year prior. Duke won that contest, 2–1. The first home game occurred a week later when they hosted Syracuse, who beat the Blue Devils, 17–5. Duke finished out the season with a 2–5 record, with their second win also over North Carolina, this time in Durham. The following season, the Blue Devils compiled a 7–1 mark and secured the Dixie Lacrosse League championship.[1]

Duke defeated UNC in the 2009 ACC Men's Lacrosse Tournament championship game.

Ray Brown became Duke's first lacrosse All-American in 1940 and was honored as such the again the following year. In 1946, Duke opened the season with a shocking upset over Maryland in College Park, 12–4. Despite finishing the season with a 2–3 record, the Blue Devils were awarded the Southern Lacrosse Association championship.[1]

The 1951 team is often regarded as Duke's most successful. The Blue Devils routed conference opponent Washington & Lee, 26–8. They also scored victories against powerhouses, beating Navy, 17–6, and Johns Hopkins, 9–7. The lone loss was by a one-goal margin and came against eventual national champion, Virginia. All told, Duke finished the season with a 6–1 record and as runners-up to Virginia for the national title.[1][2]

The newly-formed Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sanctioned lacrosse in 1954, and Duke captured the league's first title after posting a 7–1–1 season. Starting the following year however, the Blue Devils entered a twelve-year slump where they compiled a combined 17–67 record with no winning seasons. In 1967, Roy Skinner and Bruce Corrie took over as co-head coaches and immediately reversed the teams fortunes, posting a 7–4 record that season and finishing second in the ACC. In 1971, Corrie became the sole coach after Skinner retired.[1]

Mike Pressler was hired as head coach in 1991, and the following season Duke made its first NCAA tournament appearance. In 1994, the Blue Devils posted their first tournament win, which was also their first victory against Maryland in Durham since 1954. They were then edged, 12–11, in the quarterfinals by Syracuse. The next year, Duke won its first ACC tournament, and in the process became the first number-four seed to do so. Two years later, they advanced to the Final Four. Duke won consecutive ACC tournaments in 2001 and 2002, advanced to the 2005 NCAA final before losing to Johns Hopkins, 9–8.[1] The 2006 season was cut short when several Duke players were falsely accused of rape.[3] As a result of the incident, Duke forced Pressler to resign as head coach,[4] and the NCAA granted the players an extra season of elibility.[5]

John Danowski replaced Pressler, and in his first season in 2007, he led the Blue Devils to the ACC championship and return to the NCAA title game. Duke again lost to Johns Hopkins by one goal, 12–11.[1] In 2009, Duke secured its third consecutive ACC championship and NCAA tournament bid led by defender Matt Glass.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 2009 Duke Men's Lacrosse Media Guide, Duke University, p. 31–32, 2009.
  2. ^ Since 1971, the annual NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament has determined the national champion in lacrosse. Prior to that, from 1934 through 1970 (the pre-NCAA era), the national champion was determined by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA), who would award the top team with the Wingate Memorial Trophy, based on regular-season records. The Wingate Memorial Trophy was presented to the first two NCAA champions (1971 and 1972) and was then retired. See also: NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship (1971– ) and Wingate Memorial Trophy (1934–1970).
  3. ^ Duke lacrosse coach resigns, rest of season canceled, ESPN, April 6, 2006.
  4. ^ Fired lacrosse coach will sue, News & Observer, January 18, 2008.
  5. ^ NCAA grants Duke's request for fifth year of lacrosse eligibility, USA Today, May 30, 2007.
  6. ^ Duke men capture another ACC lacrosse championship, News & Record, April 27, 2009.

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