Duchan Joseph Drakulich was
born on August 30, 1923 to Jovon (Joe) and Julia Drakulich
in Kimberly, White Pine County, Nevada, and was raised in
nearby Rieptown, a small and rugged mining community comprised
of both a multicultural and multiethnic society.
Duke married Asunting (Ina) Caviglia after being discharged
from the Army in 1945 and moved to Reno, where they raised
their nine children. He graduated from the University of
Nevada, Reno with a degree in education and a minor in biology
In 1951, he started teachingt at Bishop Manogue High School
and also took on the duty of coaching football, basketball
and track. He later taught and coached at Sparks High School
and Proctor Hug HIgh School.
Some of Duke's coaching accomplishments included having
the first football team to be fully outfitted with face
masks (1954), coining the term “red zone” and
developing a unique single wing offense which he named “THE
After concluding his coaching career in 1970, Duke went
to work for the State of Nevada in the Department of Manpower
Planning under the administration of Governor Michael O’Callaghan.
Despite his retirement from coaching, Duke continued with
his research in athletic motivational equipment. His research
led to a number of patented inventions which are still in
use by both professional and major college football teams
In 1993 he was inducted into the Manogue High School Hall
Duke died on December 12, 2012. He was preceded in death
by his loving wife Asuntina (Ina). He was also preceded
in death by his mother and father; brothers and sisters:
Vaso (Bill), Della, Ann, Milon, Steve, Sam, Nick, Sophia,
Dorothy and Stanley, his daughter, Andrea Manor (Dennis),
and his grandson Sargeant David Drakulich.
He is survived by his sister Jennie Yeland, his eight children,
Damon Drakulich, Paula Kimbrough (Mark), Victor Drakulich
(Linda), Julie Roberts (Edgar), Gene Drakulich (Kathleen),
Denise Altick (Joe), Joseph Drakulich (Tina), and Marie
Heydon (Tim), as well as twenty one grandchildren and six
Duke’s friendship and leadership will be sorely missed,
but his legacy will live on.