|Birth: ||Aug. 30, 1923|
White Pine County
|Death: ||Dec. 12, 2012|
Duchan Joseph Drakulich was born into this world on the 30th day of August, 1923 to Jovon (Joe) and Julia Drakulich in Kimberly, White Pine County, Nevada, and was raised in nearby Rieptown, a small and rugged mining community comprised of both a multicultural and multiethnic society.
As one of twelve children, Duke attended Kimberly Grammar School and White Pine High School in Ely, Nevada. After graduating from high school in 1942, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII, at which time he assumed the name of his beloved high school football coach, Duke Thayer. He soon rose to the rank of platoon sergeant and became an instructor in hand-to-hand combat while stationed in the Hawaiian, Midway and Johnson Islands.
After receiving an honorable discharge in 1945, Duke returned to Ely and married the love of his life, Asuntina (Ina) Caviglia. After being wed, Duke and Ina moved to Reno where they raised nine children.
Upon moving to Reno, Duke matriculated to the University of Nevada where he began studies in the area of education. By 1949 he graduated with a degree in education and a minor in biology.
In 1951, Duke began his teaching career at Bishop Manogue High School which, at the time, was located in an agrarian area located in the far eastern section of Reno. In addition to assuming teaching duties at Manogue, he also took on the duty of coaching football, basketball and track. He accomplished these tasks while also running a janitorial business in the Reno area. His tenure at Manogue allowed him to develop lifetime relationships with his students, players and fellow faculty. His fond memories were of a time when football practice was held in an adjoining cow pasture, and the students proved themselves to be the product of good homes.
Duke's coaching and teaching career continued at Manogue High School after it moved to its second location in Northwest Reno, and thereafter at Sparks high School, and eventually at newly opened Proctor Hug High School, where he finally retired in 1971.
It was during his coaching career that Duke had such noted accomplishments as: having the first football team to be fully outfitted with face masks (1954); coining the term "red zone"; and developing a unique single wing offense which he named "THE TANDEM."
After concluding his coaching career in 1970, Duke went to work for the State of Nevada in the Department of Manpower Planning under the administration of Governor Michael O'Callaghan.
Despite his retirement from coaching, Duke continued with his research in athletic motivational equipment. His research led to a number of patented inventions which are still in use by both professional and major college football teams
In 1993 he was inducted into the Manogue High School Hall of Fame.
Duke died on December 12, 2012. He was preceded in death by his loving wife Asuntina (Ina). He was also preceded in death by his mother and father; brothers and sisters: Vaso (Bill), Della, Ann, Milon, Steve, Sam, Nick, Sophia, Dorothy and Stanley, his daughter, Andrea Manor (Dennis), and his grandson Sargeant David Drakulich.
He is survived by his sister Jennie Yeland, his eight children, Damon Drakulich, Paula Kimbrough (Mark), Victor Drakulich (Linda), Julie Roberts (Edgar), Gene Drakulich (Kathleen), Denise Altick (Joe), Joseph Drakulich (Tina), and Marie Heydon (Tim), as well as twenty one grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Duke's friendship and leadership will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on.
Walton Funeral Home, Reno, NV.
Asuntina Clotilda Caviglia Drakulich (1924 - 2011)*
Mountain View Cemetery
Created by: J
Record added: Jan 08, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103264450