DURHAM, N.C. – When Adam Flur’s father, Marc, graduated from Duke in 1983, Mike Krzyzewski was in just his third year as head coach of a men’s basketball program that was only beginning to attract high-level recruits and had yet to win a national championship. Fast forward 30 years and four NCAA basketball titles later, and both father and son remain just as connected to the university that has been an important part of their family history.
One of the winningest tennis players in Duke history and a member of the Duke Sports Hall of Fame, Marc finished his career in 1983 with a record of 110-29 in singles play. He was named an All-American by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association following his senior season, in addition to taking home Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament MVP honors that year. He also guided the Blue Devils to the program’s first ACC team title.
After graduating in 1983, Marc spent six years on the professional tour, making five appearances at Wimbledon and six in the U.S. Open. He reached career-best world rankings of No. 71 in singles and No. 60 in doubles. Marc then returned to Duke in 1989 to serve as an assistant coach for three seasons under former head coaches Steve Strome and Jay Lapidus.
The former tennis standout also settled in Durham with wife Stacey, whom he met as a student at Duke. Along with daughter Lia and son Adam, the family remained strong Duke supporters, frequently attending tennis matches and basketball games.
“When I was really young, I wanted to play basketball at Duke,” Adam says. “That was my ultimate dream growing up – I wanted to play basketball for Coach K.”
Adam also recalls attending his father’s induction ceremony for the Duke Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and learning about Marc’s legacy with the men’s tennis program. He says his father’s passion for sports inspired him to become involved in basketball, swimming, soccer and tennis from an early age. Although Adam later realized his dream of playing basketball for Coach K was probably not going to work out, he remained focused on the other three sports and considered pursuing one at the collegiate level.
His father’s tennis experience was a powerful influence for Adam, but winning a state title in swimming his senior year of high school shed light on his potential in the pool. With his choice of colleges whittled down to two, including one that had a swimming and diving program and one that did not, Adam was swayed to select Duke after meeting the coaches and team during an official visit. The lifelong Duke fan was also excited about the academic possibilities ahead of him, as well as the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his parents, grandfather and several other relatives who attended the school.
“I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to swim in college when I got here, but it was absolutely the best decision,” he says. “There’s definitely a sense of pride being a student-athlete, especially at Duke, having to go through the academic workload and the time commitment with a sport. I feel like I’ve come a long way over four years.”
A sprint freestyle specialist and contributor on the Blue Devils’ relay squads, Adam demonstrated improvement each year, qualifying for the finals of the 100-yard freestyle at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships his junior and senior seasons. He also competed on the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams at ACCs while posting personal-bests in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly at this year’s conference championship. One of the team’s captains and vocal leaders, Adam was part of a senior class that guided the program to new heights over four years.
Much like his father, Adam remained equally as dedicated in the classroom. As a public policy studies major, he earned a spot on the ACC Academic Honor Roll each season. Between hitting the books and juggling early morning practices, though, he still found time to join Marc at Duke tennis matches and basketball games. The Flur family has also been a constant fixture in the stands at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion during Adam’s four years with the program.
“It’s been nice for them to be able to watch and for me to have them here,” Adam says. “We all feel connected to the team. They’ve built relationships with other parents and a lot of the swimmers too, so it will be nice for all of us to follow the growth of the program and stay connected to that. It’s a whole big family, the Duke swimming family.”
Similarly, Marc continues to remain involved with the men’s tennis program, attending alumni events and traveling to support the team at the ACC Tournament. He also picks up the racquet every so often to play recreationally with Lapidus. Adam says his father’s success on the court has been a source of pride for him throughout his life and will be something he carries with him in the future.
“I’ve been to the Hall of Fame to see him a couple of times and just talked to him about his experience,” Adam said. “It was cool growing up to hear about that, and that’s part of the reason that I was so into sports and wanted to play growing up and in college as well. When other swimmers on the team or their families come back and they’re walking through the Hall of Fame, they say, ‘Hey, I saw your dad’s picture in the Hall of Fame.’ That’s pretty cool.”
Following his graduation earlier this month, Adam will remain in Durham next year as a student in the Master of Management Studies program at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He also plans to attend the swimming and diving team’s home meets, in addition to joining his dad at tennis matches and games in Cameron.
“We’ve all been big Duke fans ever since I was little and coming here I’ve become an even bigger fan,” Adam says. “Overall, it’s been a great experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”