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Posted By: Sharon R Becker (email)
Date: 6/14/2010 at 01:46:30


Duane L. MILLER, the son of Delmar and Eleanor (CAMPBELL) MILLER, grew up on the family farm near Kellerton, Iowa, and entered the Mount Ayr School System when he was in the third grade. He soon gained a reputation for his athletic abilities, being able to hit a baseball out of sight and run faster than any of the other elementary grade schoolers. In high school, Duane was typical of the other boys, going out for all of the sports. A versatile athlete, Duane lettered five times in baseball, four times in track and field under coaches Charles BLACK and Chet RHODE, three times in football under coach Joe McNEIL, and three times in basketball under coaches Dale HARRINGTON and Joe MORGAN.

During his senior year, Duane received state recognition in track and football. He rushed for 1,069 yards and had 1,202 yards in total offense; scored 132 points during the season which at the time was the second best point production ever recorded in the Iowa high school record books. Duane was selected for the Omaha World Herald's All-Southwest Iowa 1st team in football; Iowa state 5th team selection on the Sport's Writer's All-State team; and, was selected for the Des Moines Register and Tribune's 4th team. He set a Drake Relays record in april of 1966 for the long jump, hitting 22 feet and 7 1/2 inches, receiving a gold medal. He participated in four consecutive Drake Relays.

Duane graduated from Mount Ayr High School in 1966, and entertained several recruitment offers from various colleges and universities throughout the midwest. Duane entered Drake University in the fall of 1966, partaking of the pre-season football camp at Camp Dodge. He played as a starter defensive back during his sophomore and junior years. During his senior year of 1969, Duane played split end, setting several more Drake records in yardage gained and touchdowns, holding nine Drake Bulldog records in football. He also was co-captain of the and named to the Little All-American Team. Duane's records which have stood the test of time are:

#1 longest punt return - 91 years, Drake vs. North Texas State, 1969

#2 longest punt return - 86 yards, Drake vs. Western Illinois, 1969

#1 yards receiving in one season - 1,393, 1969

#1 most punt return yardage career - 1,159, 1967-69

#2 most punt return yardage in one season - 481, 1969

#2 most kick-off return yardage in one season - 679, 1969

#2 most kick-off return yardage in one game - 112 (twice), 1969

Duane was selected as a back for the All-Time Drake Football team.

In February of 1970, Duane was selected in the 5th round of the NFL draft by the New York Giants to return punts and kick offs under coach Alex WEBSTER. Duane graduated with a degree in business administration from Drake in May of 1970.

In the fall of 1970, the newest television program was Monday Night Football. Duane played in four pre-season games for the Giants. One game was played against the Chicago Bears with Gayle SAYERS and Dick BUTKUS on that team; another against the New York Jets with quarterback Joe NAMATH. During a televised game against the Pittsburg Steelers, Duane was hit by John "Frenchy" FUQUA and blew out one of his knees. Thus ended Duane's NFL career.

Duane and his wife Donna reside in Clive, Iowa with the son Bret and daughter Kyle.

SOURCE: FETTY, Jack. Rings of Gold Pp. 69-74. Palindrome Pub. Co. Iowa. 2007.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2010


Ringgold Biographies maintained by Tony Mercer.
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