Ducote in the Navy, 1918
|Born||August 28, 1897|
|Died||March 26, 1937 (aged 39)|
New Orleans, Louisiana
|1918||Cleveland Naval Reserve|
|Position(s)||Fullback, end, guard (football)|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1934||Spring Hill (backfield/freshmen)|
|1935||Loyola (LA) (backfield)|
|1935–1936||Loyola (LA) (assistant)|
|Administrative career (AD unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2x All-Southern (1916, 1917)|
2nd team All-Service (1918)
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
Richard Joseph "Moon" "Duke" DuCôté (// duh-KOH-tee; August 28, 1897 – March 26, 1937) was an American baseball, football, and basketball coach, football and baseball player, football official, and businessman. He first attended Spring Hill College and was a notable athlete at Auburn University. He played minor league baseball with the Mobile Bears, Portsmouth Truckers, and Charlotte Hornets. In 1920, he played with the Cleveland Tigers of the American Professional Football Association.
He served as the head football coach at Loyola University of New Orleans from 1924 to 1925 and at Spring Hill College for five non-consecutive years between 1919 and 1933. Ducote was the head baseball and basketball coach at Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1924.
Ducote was born in Cottonport, Louisiana on August 28, 1897. He later resided in Mobile, Alabama where, as a Catholic, he attended Spring Hill College. It is figured he was known as "Moon" due to his large head.
Ducote attended Auburn University, where he played on the Tigers football team under Mike Donahue from 1915 to 1917, primarily in the backfield as a fullback or halfback due to his skill at drop kicking, but also as a guard and end. Ducote stood 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and weighed 187 pounds (85 kg). He was named to the All-Southern team in both 1916 and 1917, and was nominated for an Associated Press All-Time Southeast 1869-1919 era team. In 1933, Mike Donahue and Dr. John O. Rush published their choice for the "All-Time Auburn Football Team" in the Mobile Press-Register, which named Ducote as the fullback. Donahue noted that Ducote was "undoubtedly the best ever" according to The Tuscaloosa News.
In the 1916 game against Georgia, Ducote kicked a 40-yard field goal from placement off of captain Lucy Hairston's football helmet in the fourth quarter and in the mud, which proved the only points in the 3–0 Auburn victory. The maneuver prompted a rule that stated the ball must be kicked directly off the ground. Parke H. Davis described it thus:
Ducote falls back to try for a goal from the field. Hairston removes his leather helmet and places it upon the ground. He creases the top of the helmet and sights it for the goal. Spectators curiously watch the proceedings. Suddenly, the ball is passed. Hairston receives it, places it on the helmet, which all suddenly see it is to serve as a mechanical tee. Ducote leaps forward, kicks the ball from the top of the helmet and drives it straight as an arrow for Georgia's crossbar, over which it sails evenly between the posts."
The 1917 team held undefeated Big Ten champion Ohio State to a scoreless tie, but ran into a juggernaut in Georgia Tech, the South's first national champion, losing 68–7. Auburn's only points came when Ducote circled around end for 17 yards and lateraled to William Donahue, who ran down the sideline for a six-yard touchdown. Earlier in the game, Ducote broke through the line toward the goal, with blocking from Pete Bonner and Donahue. After Tech's Joe Guyon dove at Ducote and missed, Guyon gave chase and tackled him from behind at the 26-yard line.
Due to the First World War, Ducote played on the 1918 Cleveland Naval Reserve football team alongside Georgia Tech fullback Judy Harlan, which upset national champion Pittsburgh by a 10–9 score. Ducote kicked the winning 41-yard field goal. Pittsburgh coach Pop Warner refused to acknowledge the loss, but declared Ducote "the greatest football player I ever saw". Walter Camp selected him second-team All-Service. He was supposed to return to Auburn in 1919, but played baseball instead.
Professional playing career
In 1920, Ducote played in one game for the Cleveland Tigers in the American Professional Football Association (later renamed the National Football League). From 1919 to 1921, he played minor league baseball with the Mobile Bears in the Southern Association. In 1923, he played for the Portsmouth Truckers of the Virginia League, and from 1925 to 1926, he played for the Charlotte Hornets of the South Atlantic League. During this time, he would spend the winters in New Orleans, where he served as a college football coach outside of the baseball season.
Spring Hill College hired Ducote as its football coach in December 1918. He coached the 1919 team before playing professionally in Cleveland. He returned to the position for the 1921 season, a post he held through 1922.
Ducote spent one season at Louisiana State University as head coach for the basketball and baseball teams. In basketball, he coached the Tigers to an 8–12 finish during the 1923–24 season. Ducote led the LSU baseball team to a 4–9 record in 1924.
The Loyola University of New Orleans hired Ducote as its head football coach for the 1924 season. In the opener, Bo McMillin's Centenary routed Loyola, 51–0. Later in the year, the Wolves held Oglethorpe, the eventual Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association champions, to a 13–13 tie. Loyola finished the season with a 3–4–2 record. Before the 1925 season, SIAA officials ruled several Loyola players ineligible to compete, including 14 first-string players. After losing four of their first five games, Loyola left the SIAA and put the previously disallowed players back into action, finishing with a 2–7 record.
Loyola rehired Ducote as an assistant football and head basketball coach in March 1935. He rejoined the football staff as the backfield coach. Ducote was also Loyola's athletic director, serving from August 1936 until his death seven months later.
In the late 1920s, Ducote was the vice president and general manager of the Nu-Way Cleansing Service.
From 1929 to 1934, Ducote worked as a football official in the Southern Conference and Southeastern Conference, including as a linesman, umpire, and referee. Ducote helped officiate the 1935 Rose Bowl as the field judge.
On September 2, 1935, he was elected chairman of the Southern Football Officials' Association.
Later life and death
In March 1937, he was hospitalized in New Orleans for several weeks with high blood pressure and was considered to be in critical condition. He died in the hospital on March 26, 1937 at the age of 39. He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
- "LSU Fighting Tigers Coaches". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- "Louisiana State University". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
- Moon Ducote Minor League Statistics & History, Baseball Reference, retrieved June 12, 2011.
- William McG.Keefe (March 27, 1937). "Viewing the News". Times-Picayune.
- Moon Ducote Chosen As Coach At Loyola, The Tuscaloosa News, March 10, 1935.
- Sington Praised Highly; Shaughnessy Places Alabama Tackle on All-Time, All-Southern Gridiron Eleven, The Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1931.
- 2007 Auburn Football Media Guide, p. 156, Auburn University, 2007.
- 2007 Auburn Football Media Guide, p. 180.
- "U-T Greats On All-Time Southeast Team". Kingsport Post. July 31, 1969.
- Gridiron Gasps, The Tuscaloosa News, January 10, 1933.
- Auburn and Alabama Flirt With Renewed Relationship, The Miami News, December 25, 1928.
- Loyola Director, Dick Ducote, Dies, The Milwaukee Journal, March 26, 1937.
- "Prominent Sport Writer Selects Football Heroes". Columbus Daily Enquirer. December 10, 1916.
- "Remarkable Feats Decided Numerous Gridiron Struggles of 1916 Season; On Many Occasions Winning Points Come In Closing Minutes of Play". The Washington Post. December 3, 1916. p. 1. Retrieved May 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "1917 Auburn Tigers". Archived from the original on December 10, 2015.
- "Golden Tornado Wins Great Victory" (PDF). The Technique. December 4, 1917. p. 4.
- Proud Panthers Taste Sting of Defeat; Mighty Panthers Bow Tb Harlan, Ducote & Co. Cleveland Naval Reserves Win, 10 to 9, Before Record Crowd--Former Georgia Tech and Auburn Players Stars., The Atlanta Constitution, December 1, 1918.
- Wiley Lee Umphlett (1992). Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football. p. 148.
- "Richard Ducote Dies In Orleans". State Times. March 26, 1937.
- Moon Ducote Archived November 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Database Football, retrieved June 12, 2011.
- ""Moon" Ducote Will Play "Pro" Football". Montgomery Advertiser. November 29, 1919.
- Two Contracts In, Herald-Journal, January 18, 1926.
- Grange & Co. Score Twice To Beat All-Star Foes, The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 10, 1926.
- Ducote to Coach Spring Hill College, The Atlanta Constitution, December 29, 1918.
- Ducote Reappointed Spring Hill Coach, The Atlanta Constitution, December 18, 1920.
- HILLIANS TO PLAY TULANE, The Atlanta Constitution, October 13, 1922.
- Ducote is Spring Hill Coach, The Christian Science Monitor, December 22, 1932.
- Moon Ducote Resigns, The Tuscaloosa News, January 22, 1935.
- 2007–2008 LSU Basketball Media Guide, p. 147, Louisiana State University, 2007.
- 2006 LSU Baseball Official Yearbook, p. 155, Louisiana State University, 2006.
- The Wolf, p. 112, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1924.
- The Wolf, pp. 119–122, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1925.
- The Wolf, pp. 108–110, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1926.
- Howell to Coach Backfield, Herald-Journal, August 24, 1936.
- Ducote Critically Ill, The Tuscaloosa News, March 23, 1937.
- The Wolf, p. 214, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1927.
- Georgia Downs Tide In Great Game, 12-0, The Atlanta Constitution, November 29, 1929.
- LOYOLA'S ELEVEN BEATS DETROIT, 9-6; Touchdown and Added Point in First Period Start New Orleans Team to Victory. VISITORS GET LATE TALLY March 84 Yards for Counter Near End of Game--Safety Completes Winner's Total, The New York Times, December 7, 1930.
- Other 18 -- No Title, Daily Boston Globe, November 29, 1931.
- Georgia Tech, Georgia Wage Scoreless Tie, Reading Eagle, November 27, 1932.
- TENNESSEE IS SET FOR L.S.U. INVASION; Major Neyland's Last Eleven in Form After Workout in Flurry of Snow. TEAMS EVENLY MATCHED Louisiana State Is Eager to Atone for Defeat Received at Hands of Tulane., The New York Times, December 8, 1934.
- Ducote To "Help "Work" Rose Bowl Game January 1st, Times Daily, December 24, 1934.
- Officials Pick Ducote, The News and Courier, September 2, 1935.