This week in Duke history: Slaughter steps down to tend to his farm

It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when coaches at Duke—head coaches—only coached part-time.

Enos “Country” Slaughter, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame after winning four World Series in his 19-year career, coached the Blue Devils' baseball team from 1971 to 1977. But on September 7, 1976, he announced plans to step down because something was not working.


He had a farm 45 minutes away in Roxboro, N.C., and he had been trying to run it while also serving as head coach at Duke.

As then-sports editor John Feinstein—now a renowned sportswriter and New York Times bestselling author—wrote September 10, 1976, “He has a responsibility [to his farm] that he cannot shirk.”

Slaughter coached the team that spring in 1977 while the Blue Devils transitioned to having a full-time head coach, and Tom D'Armi—who was Slaughter's top assistant in 1977—took over for him to start the 1978 season.

There was a lot going on in The Chronicle that day. Beneath the article about Slaughter is an advertisement for beer distribution, a classified on page 2 asks for a “neat, attractive cashier” and on the back page is an advertisement for the upcoming Grateful Dead concert at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Tickets still on sale!