Moon Ducote

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Moon Ducote
Moon Ducote.jpg
Ducote at Loyola in 1924
Sport(s) Football, baseball, basketball
Biographical details
Born August 28, 1897
Cottonport, Louisiana
Died March 26, 1937 (aged 39)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Playing career
1914 Spring Hill
1915–1917 Auburn
1918 Cleveland Naval Reserve
1919–1921 Mobile Bears
1920 Cleveland Tigers
1923 Portsmouth Truckers
1925–1926 Charlotte Hornets
Position(s) Fullback, end, guard
Outfielder
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Football
1919 Spring Hill
1921–1922 Spring Hill
1924–1925 Loyola (LA)
1933 Spring Hill
1934 Spring Hill (backfield/freshmen)
1935 Loyola (LA) (backs)
Baseball
1924 Louisiana State
Basketball
1923–1924 Louisiana State
1935–1936 Loyola (LA) (asst.)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1936–1937 Loyola (LA)
Head coaching record
Overall 5–11–2 (football)
4–9 (baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
2x All-Southern (1916, 1917)
2nd team All-Service (1918)

Richard Joseph "Moon" Ducote (August 28, 1897 – March 26, 1937) pronunciation: /dʌkˈt/ duh-CO-tee 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 1934. Ducote was the head baseball and basketball coach at Louisiana State University in 1924.

Early life[edit]

Ducote was born in Cottonport, Louisiana on August 28, 1897.[1] Ducote was later a resident of Mobile, Alabama where, as a Catholic,[2] he attended Spring Hill College.

Auburn[edit]

Ducote then attended Auburn University, where he played on the football team under Mike Donahue, primarily in the backfield as a fullback or halfback, due to his skill at drop kicking,[3] but also as a guard and end from 1915 to 1917.[4][5] He was named to the All-Southern team in both 1916 and 1917.[6] He stood 5 feet 10 inches and weighed 187 pounds.

In the 1916 game against Georgia,[7] 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.[7][8][9] The maneuver prompted a rule that stated the ball must be kicked directly off the ground.[8] 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."[10]

Pop Warner (pictured) said Ducote was "the greatest football player I ever saw".

The 1917 team held undefeated Big Ten champion Ohio State to a scoreless tie,[11] 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 had broken 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.[12]

Due to the First World War in 1918, Ducote played on the Cleveland Naval Reserve football team alongside Georgia Tech fullback Judy Harlan, which upset national champion Pittsburgh by a 10–9 score.[13] Ducote kicked the winning field goal.[14] Pitt coach Pop Warner refused to acknowledge the loss, but declared Ducote "the greatest football player I ever saw".[15] Walter Camp selected him second-team All-Service. He was supposed to return to Auburn in 1919, but played baseball instead.[16]

He was nominated though not selected for an Associated Press All-Time Southeast 1869-1919 era team.[17] 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.[18]

Professional playing career[edit]

In 1920, he played in one game for the Cleveland Tigers in the American Professional Football Association (later renamed the National Football League).[19] From 1919 to 1921, he played minor league baseball with the Mobile Bears in the Southern Association.[1] 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.[1] During this time, he would spend the winters in New Orleans, where he served as a college football coach outside of the baseball season.[20]

On January 9, 1926, he played as a member of the Southern All-Stars, which lost an exhibition game, 14–0, to the Red Grange-led Chicago Bears.[21]

Coaching career[edit]

Spring Hill[edit]

Spring Hill College hired Ducote as its football coach in December 1918.[22] He returned to the position for the 1921 season,[23] a post he held through 1922.[24]

Rehired[edit]

In December 1932, Spring Hill College rehired Ducote as its head football coach.[25] He resigned on June 1, 1935.[26]

LSU[edit]

Ducote spent one season as head coach for the basketball and baseball teams at Louisiana State University. In basketball, he coached the Tigers to an 8–12 finish during the 1923–24 season.[27] Ducote led the LSU baseball team to a 4–9 record in 1924.[28]

Loyola[edit]

The Loyola University of New Orleans hired Ducote as its head football coach for the 1924 season.[3][29] 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.[30] 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. The Wolves finished with a 2–7 record.[31]

Rehired[edit]

Loyola rehired Ducote as an assistant football and head basketball coach in March 1935.[3] He rejoined the football staff as the backfield coach.[3][32] Ducote was also Loyola's athletic director, a role he served from August 1936 until his death.[8][33]

Business[edit]

In the late 1920s, Ducote was the vice president and general manager of the Nu-Way Cleansing Service.[34]

Officiating[edit]

From 1929 to 1934, he worked as a football official in the Southern Conference and Southeastern Conference, including as a linesman,[35][36] umpire,[37] and referee.[38][39] Ducote helped officiate the 1935 Rose Bowl as the field judge.[40]

On September 2, 1935, he was elected chairman of the Southern Football Officials' Association.[41]

Later life and death[edit]

In March 1937, he was hospitalized in New Orleans for several weeks with high blood pressure and was considered to be in critical condition.[33] He died in the hospital on March 26, 1937 at the age of 39.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Moon Ducote Minor League Statistics & History, Baseball Reference, retrieved June 12, 2011.
  2. ^ William McG.Keefe (March 27, 1937). "Viewing the News". Times-Picayune. 
  3. ^ a b c d Moon Ducote Chosen As Coach At Loyola, The Tuscaloosa News, March 10, 1935.
  4. ^ SINGTON PRAISED HIGHLY; Shaughnessy Places Alabama Tackle on All-Time, All-Southern Gridiron Eleven, The Los Angeles Times, Aug 9, 1931.
  5. ^ 2007 Auburn Football Media Guide, p. 156, Auburn University, 2007.
  6. ^ 2007 Auburn Football Media Guide, p. 180.
  7. ^ a b Auburn and Alabama Flirt With Renewed Relationship, The Miami News, December 25, 1928.
  8. ^ a b c d Loyola Director, Dick Ducote, Dies, The Milwaukee Journal, March 26, 1937.
  9. ^ "Prominent Sport Writer Selects Football Heroes". Columbus Daily Enquirer. December 10, 1916. 
  10. ^ "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.  open access publication - free to read
  11. ^ "1917 Auburn Tigers". 
  12. ^ "Golden Tornado Wins Great Victory" (PDF). The Technique. December 4, 1917. p. 4. 
  13. ^ 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, Dec 1, 1918.
  14. ^ Wiley Lee Umphlett (1992). Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football. p. 148. 
  15. ^ "Richard Ducote Dies In Orleans". State Times. March 26, 1937. 
  16. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=Cw_iAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55
  17. ^ "U-T Greats On All-Time Southeast Team". Kingsport Post. July 31, 1969. 
  18. ^ Gridiron Gasps, The Tuscaloosa News, January 10, 1933.
  19. ^ Moon Ducote, Database Football, retrieved June 12, 2011.
  20. ^ Two Contracts In, Herald-Journal, January 18, 1926.
  21. ^ Grange & Co. Score Twice To Beat All-Star Foes, The Milwaukee Sentinel, January 10, 1926.
  22. ^ DUCOTE TO COACH SPRING HILL COLLEGE, The Atlanta Constitution, Dec 29, 1918.
  23. ^ DUCOTE REAPPOINTED SPRING HILL COACH, The Atlanta Constitution, Dec 18, 1920.
  24. ^ HILLIANS TO PLAY TULANE, The Atlanta Constitution, Oct 13, 1922.
  25. ^ DUCOTE IS SPRINGHILL COACH, The Christian Science Monitor, December 22, 1932.
  26. ^ Moon Ducote Resigns, The Tuscaloosa News, January 22, 1935.
  27. ^ 2007–2008 LSU Basketball Media Guide, p. 147, Louisiana State University, 2007.
  28. ^ 2006 LSU Baseball Official Yearbook, p. 155, Louisiana State University, 2006.
  29. ^ The Wolf, p. 112, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1924.
  30. ^ The Wolf, pp. 119–122, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1925.
  31. ^ The Wolf, pp. 108–110, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1926.
  32. ^ Howell to Coach Backfield, Herald-Journal, August 24, 1936.
  33. ^ a b Ducote Critically Ill, The Tuscaloosa News, March 23, 1937.
  34. ^ The Wolf, p. 214, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1927.
  35. ^ Georgia Downs Tide In Great Game, 12-0, The Atlanta Constitution, Nov 29, 1929.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Other 18 -- No Title, Daily Boston Globe, Nov 29, 1931.
  38. ^ Georgia Tech, Georgia Wage Scoreless Tie, Reading Eagle, November 27, 1932.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ Ducote To "Help "Work" Rose Bowl Game January 1st, Times Daily, December 24, 1934.
  41. ^ Officials Pick Ducote, The News and Courier, September 2, 1935.

External links[edit]