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Nelson, Walter "Duke" (Class of 1932), February 7, 1986

Identifier: MOH33

Scope and Contents

1 interview with Walter "Duke" Nelson, retired Middlebury College Football Coach. Nelson discusses what he studied at Middlebury; athletics; field house; athletic facilities; coaching football, hockey and golf; teaching PE; intermurals; lacrosse; comparing Middlebury to other colleges; student activities; changes in Middlebury; teaching sports at a young age; World War II; what makes Middlebury unique; the rural setting; the growth of Middlebury; scholarships; financial aid; President Moody; President Stratton; President Robison; other coaching offers; and balancing academics and athletics.


  • February 7, 1986

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restriction.

Biographical / Historical

Walter John "Duke" Nelson (1908-1989) graduated from Middlebury College in 1932. He was born to Charles L. and Annie (Bears) Nelson in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He served as institutional and freshman football coach at Middlebury College from 1932 to 1936, as hockey coach from 1932 to 1936 and 1946 to 1964. Nelson was a coach and Assistant Director of Athletics at Middlebury from 1946 to 1956, Head Football Coach from 1946 to 1968, Golf Coach from 1946 to 1972, Lacrosse Coach from 1954 to 1958, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics from 1956 to 1969, Professor of Physical Education from 1970 to 1972, baseball coach for 11 years, and basketball coach for 3 years. Nelson retired in 1972. Nelson's football team at Middlebury won back-to-back Vermont State Conference championships in 1948 and 1949.


From the Collection: 147+ Objects