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James DeHart
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/14/2005
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Athletics Director, 1926-30
Head Football Coach, 1926-30

A native Pennsylvanian, Jimmy DeHart was at Duke for only a short time, but made a lasting impression. Hired away from Washington & Lee as athletics director and head football coach in 1926, DeHart took the Duke athletics department out of a $20,000 debt and began the building of a top-caliber program.

In addition to serving as football coach for five years (1926-1930). DeHart was the driving force behind the construction of the football stadium (now Wallace Wade Stadium). He introduced big-time college football to the state of North Carolina, got Duke in the Southern Conference and was responsible for the hiring of some of Duke's biggest names, including fellow Hall of Famers Eddie Cameron, Jack Coombs and Dr. Lenox Baker.

DeHart was an outstanding athlete in his own right as a standout running back under Glenn (pop) Warner at Pittsburgh. From 1914 through 1916, his Pitt teams lost just one game and claimed the national championship in 1916. DeHart joined the U.S. Army in 1917, returned to Pitt in 1919, then took the football coaching job at Georgia for two years before being hired as the head coach at Washington & Lee.

DeHart returned to Washington & Lee following five years at Duke. He had a 24-23-2 coaching record at Duke, with his final 1930 team posting an 8-1-2 record. He died in March of 1935 at the age of 41.

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