As Duke Athletics wraps up yet another successful calendar year, we wanted to look back at interviews with inductees of the Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016—Individuals who not only contributed to the university’s achievements, but laid the foundation for those to follow.
Today’s feature highlights our conversation with Iron Dukes luminary Mary Dinkins.
You were such an instrumental part of Duke football for so long, and it was not always the most successful program in the history of the world, but you did a great job with it, and now we are starting to bear some of the fruits of all of the year and decades of work. What has it been like for you to witness the transformation of a program that you were so heavily involved with for so many years?
We were successful in the things that people didn’t know, and it’s been a dream come true for me to see us be successful because I knew, that we could be. And I couldn’t be happier for my alma mater.
You know I was going to ask you that. Is it more special, I went to Duke and it seems it’s more special for me because it is my alma mater. I don’t know if I could do this for another school. Is it more special for you because you are going into your alma mater’s Hall of Fame?
I can’t tell you. I’m not sure that I could have even worked at another school because part of my wealth of knowledge, part of what made me good at what I did was that I knew Duke so well and believed in Duke so well.
What made you want to continue to work with the passion that you had for the student athletes? What about student athletes made you want to give of yourself and give your time to help their experience?
As I got to know the families of the people that we were recruiting, and the fact that almost every Duke athlete has so much in common with one another with their decision to maybe take the harder road, but to be willing to do things that other people haven’t had to do to be successful. It just got easier and easier, and I believed more and more, and I believe even more today that it is worth every day of hard work. How’s that?
You believe that?
I believe it, do you believe it?