Wayne Duke

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Wayne Duke (footballer).

Wayne Duke (November 9, 1928[1] – March 29, 2017) was an American collegiate sports executive who served as commissioner of the Big Eight Conference from 1963 to 1971, then as commissioner of the Big Ten Conference from 1971 to 1988.


Early life and education[edit]

A native of Burlington, Iowa, Wayne Duke graduated from the University of Iowa in 1950.[2] He married Martha Buesch on June 11, 1950. He passed away on March 29, 2017.


Duke began his career in college athletics publicity at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Colorado. He joined the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1952 as assistant to executive director Walter Byers.[3] He was named commissioner of the Big Eight athletic conference in 1963[4] and served until 1971, when he was named commissioner of the Big Ten athletic conference.[5] He retired as the Big Ten commissioner in 1989.[6]

A Big Ten scholarship for post-graduate studies is now awarded in his name.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Hansen, Marc (26 June 2005). "Duke helped shape modern sports". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.iowalum.com/daa/duke.html
  3. ^ "N. C. A. A. Job for Duke". New York Times. 1952-07-04. Wayne Duke, publicity director for athletics at Colorado University, said today he was resigning to become assistant executive director... 
  4. ^ "Wayne Duke Chosen Big Eight Director". Milwaukee Journal. 1963-01-09. 
  5. ^ "Wayne Duke of Big Eight Named Head of Big Ten". New York Times. 1971-08-06. p. 22. 
  6. ^ "Sports People; Retirement Announced". New York Times. 1988-06-08. 
  7. ^ http://www.bigten.org/genrel/022808aae.html
  8. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award: Wayne Duke". University of Iowa Alumni Association. 
  9. ^ "Former Hawkeye Duke to be inducted into collegiate basketball hall of fame". Des Moines Register. 2010-02-24.