With the opening ceremony for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics set for Friday, The Chronicle breaks down Duke's 17 Olympic medalists as players and coaches.
Duke’s first Olympic medal winner won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles for the U.S. in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. Shankle, who passed away last year at the age of 82, was also a track and field standout at Duke.
During his junior year in 1954, he was named the first ever ACC Athlete of the Year. During his senior year, he captured the long jump title to become Duke’s first athlete ever to win an NCAA individual track championship. Shankle held the long jump record at Duke for more than 50 years with a 24-foot, 8-inch mark.
Named Duke’s most outstanding athlete of the 20th century in 2010, Sime was a three-sport athlete at Duke who likely would have won more than just a silver medal if he had been more fortunate. In 1956, he was at the top of his track and field game but suffered a groin injury riding a horse that sidelined him from the Olympics a few months later.
In 1960, as a second-year medical student at Duke, he won the silver medal in the 100-meter dash at the Rome Olympics despite posting the same exact time as gold medalist Armin Hary of Germany. He would have won the gold in the 4-x-100-meter relay, but officials ruled that his teammate passed the baton outside of the permitted area, disqualifying the team.
Sime, who died in January at the age of 79, was originally recruited to Duke to play baseball. He led the ACC in batting average with a .376 clip in 1957, earning first-team All-ACC honors. The Paterson, N.J., native also played for the football team for a year and was drafted by the Detroit Lions but decided to stick with track and field.
Sime's grandson Max McCaffrey was a wide receiver at Duke and graduated in May, and one of his other grandsons is Christian McCaffrey, Stanford's star running back who was the Heisman Trophy runner-up last year.
Mullins was the first athlete from Duke to take home a gold medal, doing so as a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team in Tokyo, during a time when professional basketball players were not allowed to compete in the Olympics. Mullins, whose number 44 is retired in Cameron Indoor Stadium, helped lead Duke to its first two Final Four appearances in 1963 and 1964.
After being named ACC Athlete of the Year in 1964, he was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks and then played for the Golden State Warriors. Mullins was an NBA All-Star in 1969, 1970 and 1971, helped the Warriors to the 1967 Western Conference title and was a member of their 1975 championship team, becoming the first player from Duke to win an NBA championship.
The Queens, N.Y., native coached UNC-Charlotte from 1985 to 1996 and took the 49ers to three NCAA tournaments.
The Houston native was a member of the U.S. men's basketball team that won gold in the 1976 Montreal Games to reclaim the gold medal it lost four years earlier to the Soviet Union in Munich. Armstrong played for Duke from 1973-1977, and in 1976 was named a first-team All-ACC performer.
Midway through his senior season, the guard broke his wrist and missed the rest of the year. The Chicago Bulls drafted him with the 13th overall pick in 1977, but Armstrong played just two seasons for them before his NBA career came to an end.
The most decorated Olympian in Duke’s history, Hogshead won gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle, 4-x-100-meter freestyle relay and 4-x-100-meter medley relay and a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She very well may have won more medals, but at the age of 18, she—along with every American athlete—boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
Hogshead was the first woman to be inducted into the Duke Sports Hall of Fame, though she only competed for the Blue Devils for one season in 1980-1981. During her freshman campaign, she set school records in every event in which she swam, captured four ACC championships and was a two-event All-American.
The two-time NCAA champion is one of the most successful and infamous figures in college basketball history. Laettner, then the reigning National Player of the Year, was picked ahead of LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal as the only college member of the 1992 Dream Team that won gold in Barcelona after winning its eight games by an average of 43.8 points. Laettner was the only player on the 12-man roster that is not in the Basketball Hall of Fame,
A starter all four years at Duke from 1988-1992, Laettner played in four Final Fours and set numerous postseason records. He holds NCAA tournament records for points, games played and wins.
The 1991 USA Male Athlete of the Year hit game-winning buzzer-beaters trailing by a point in the Elite Eight against Connecticut in 1990 and Kentucky in 1992 and closed his career with back-to-back titles.
The Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Laettner third overall in 1992, but he only made the NBA All-Star Game once and played for six different teams during his 13-year NBA career.
Krzyzewski is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I men’s college basketball history and has already won three gold medals—as an assistant coach on the Dream Team in 1992 and as head coach of Team USA in 2008 and 2012. He took over as head coach of the national team after the United States lost three games and took home bronze in the 2004 Olympics.
The 69-year old will look to win a fourth gold medal in Rio this month, which will be his last games as head coach. USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo has openly stated that he would like Krzyzewski to remain involved with USA Basketball after San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich replaces Krzyzewski as head coach following the Rio Games.
The five-time national champion joined Team USA as an assistant coach in 1979, a year before he left Army for Duke. He is aiming to become the first head coach to win three Olympic gold medals, and the U.S. is 79-1 in international tournaments under his watch.
Hill—a two-time national champion while playing at Duke from 1990-1994—won the gold medal as a member of the U.S. men's basketball national team in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. During the Games he averaged 9.7 points, and he would have played in the 2000 Olympics if not for an ankle injury that kept him out.
The 1993 National Defensive Player of the Year and 1994 ACC Player of the Year, Hill's number 33 hangs from the rafters in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He was drafted third in the 1994 NBA Draft and was selected to seven NBA All-Star Games during his 18-year career.
The North Carolina graduate and Duke women's soccer assistant coach since 1992 is one of the most famous women in American women’s soccer history. Overbeck won the 1991 World Cup and captained the third-place 1995 World Cup team, 1996 Olympic team that won gold, 1999 World Cup-winning squad and the 2000 Olympic team that took home the silver medal.
The Tar Heels went undefeated during 95 matches and captured four national titles during Overbeck’s career from 1986-1989. A 2006 inductee into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, the former defender works primarily with Duke’s back line, which led the Blue Devils to the NCAA championship game last season.
Palmer was a little-known member of three Duke men's basketball Final Four teams and the 1991 championship team after joining the Blue Devils as a McDonald's All-American big man in 1988. On the bench behind Laettner and Duke's other big men, Palmer averaged only 8.2 minutes and 2.4 points per game during his time with the Blue Devils.
Palmer transferred to Dartmouth after the 1991 season. After playing overseas during the 1990s, he was a bench player on the French national team that lost to the U.S. in the 2000 gold medal game.
The first black American to ever win a medal at the Winter Olympics—along with teammate Garrett Hines—used his dual-sport athleticism from college to become a bobsled star. Jones competed in the two- and four-man bobsleigh in the 1994 Olympics and his four-man bobsleigh team finished just .02 seconds out of third place in the 1998 Games. But Jones broke through in 2002 by earning silver and snapping Team USA’s bobsled medal drought dating back to 1956.
Between 1988 and 1992, the Winston Salem, N.C., native was a kickoff specialist for the Duke football team and for more than 20 years held the program record for most kickoff returns for touchdowns before DeVon Edwards broke it. Jones also competed in Wallace Wade Stadium for the track team and is second all time in Duke history behind Sime with a 10.38-second mark in the 100 meters.
Despite being born in a military base in Germany, Boozer—who grew up in Juneau, Alaska—played for the U.S. men's basketball national team and earned a bronze medal in 2004 and gold medal in 2008. The power forward averaged 7.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in the 2004 Olympics, and he played in all eight games in both Athens and Beijing.
Boozer played at Duke for three seasons and was a part of the 2001 national championship team during his sophomore year. After earning third-team All-America honors in 2002 and finishing his career with the best field goal percentage in school history at 63.1 percent, Boozer spent 13 years in the NBA, most recently with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014-15. He was an All-Star with the Utah Jazz in 2007 and 2008 and averaged 16.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game during his NBA career.
ESPN's Marc Stein recently reported that Boozer will continue his professional career overseas in China.
The former Duke women’s basketball head coach who built the program into one of the best in the country won two gold medals—in 2004 and 2008—as an assistant coach for Team USA. Goestenkors led Duke to the NCAA tournament in each of her final 13 years at the helm, to the Sweet 16 in each of her final 10 seasons, to the Final Four four times and to the national championship game in 1999 and 2006.
The 2015 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was the ACC Coach of the Year seven times and earned National Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and 2007. But Goestenkors never brought home a national title for Duke, coming closest in an overtime defeat in the 2006 national championship game to Maryland. The Blue Devils led the Terrapins by 13 points in the second half and three points with seven seconds left in regulation before falling.
Less than two years later, Goestenkors left Duke for Texas, leading the Longhorns for five years before serving as an assistant for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and Indiana Fever for one year each.
Unlike many medalists, Ward stepped up to the podium before she began college and never returned. After being the first fencer to ever hold Senior, Junior and Cadet World titles in the same year as a 16-year-old in 2006, Ward won bronze medals in the team and individual sabre events in the 2008 Olympics as the youngest fencer to ever represent the U.S.
Ward was one of the most prolific fencers in NCAA history, becoming the fifth woman fencer to ever win three championships with titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012, the first to win three times in sabre and the first Duke athlete to win three individual national titles. A favorite to medal in the 2012 Olympics at age 22, Ward focused on her undergraduate education instead of going to London.
As head coach of the U.S. diving team during the 2012 London Games, Johansen led Team USA to one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in what was the country's most successful diving performance since 1988. Two of his divers from Duke stood on the podium, as he helped Abby Johnston win a silver medal in the synchronized 3-meter event and Nick McCrory to a third-place finish in the synchronized 10-meter event.
Johansen was the head diving coach at Duke from 2007 to 2013, and is again the head coach of the U.S. diving team for the 2016 Olympics. The Indiana head coach will once again coach Johnston in Rio de Janeiro.
Johansen’s successor at Duke, Nunzio Esposto, is now Johnston’s coach in Durham and in June was named an assistant coach to the 2016 team. Under Johansen’s direction, McCrory won four national titles and Johnston won the 2011 NCAA championship on the 3-meter springboard.
Johnston and teammate Kelci Bryant captured a silver medal in the synchronized 3-meter diving event in 2012 after barely qualifying for the Olympics. The medal was the first ever in synchronized diving for the U.S. and ended a 12-year medal drought in diving among Americans. A 2013 Duke graduate and current medical student, Johnston will compete as an individual on the 3-meter springboard this year.
The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native was the first-ever Blue Devil diver to qualify for the NCAA championship, and she won the the 2011 national title in the 3-meter event. During her career, Johnston earned a total of four All-America honors and won five individual ACC titles.
The Chapel Hill native became one of the most dominant divers in NCAA and U.S. history during his time at Duke from 2009 to 2014, taking the 2011-12 season off to train for the London Olympics. McCrory and teammate David Boudia captured the bronze medal in the men’s synchronized 10-meter event, and McCrory also competed as an individual on the 10-meter platform, finishing ninth.
The 2014 graduate won the NCAA title in the men’s platform during each of his four years in Durham. His first title in 2010 was also Duke diving’s first national title, and during his four seasons with Duke, he accumulated 11 All-America accolades and 10 ACC championships.
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