DURHAM – Duke Athletics Hall of Fame member Hal McElhaney passed away on November 7 in Greensboro, N.C. He was 88 years old.
Born August 31, 1935, in Burgettstown, Pa., McElhaney lettered three seasons on the gridiron at Duke from 1955-57, twice earning honorable mention All-America and second team All-ACC honors as a fullback in 1956 and 1957. Additionally, he was a two-time recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, which is presented annually to the top blocker in the ACC, earning the honor in both 1956 and 1957. He capped his outstanding collegiate career by captaining the 1957 Duke football squad to a 6-3-2 record, Orange Bowl berth and final national ranking of No. 16 in the Associated Press poll.
A two-sport standout at Duke, McElhaney won the ACC Wrestling Championship at the 191-pound weight class in both 1956 and 1957. He was named the MVP of the ACC Championships in 1956.
McElhaney was inducted into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.
Following his time at Duke, McElhaney was an eighth round draft selection of the Philadelphia Eagles but forewent professional football to attend graduate school and fulfill duties to the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He returned to Duke as an assistant football coach, mentoring the linebackers, for the 1964 and 1965 seasons. He later served as an administrative assistant to the director of athletics, helping lead fundraising efforts to building Duke’s Pascal Field House.
McElhaney made a career in the athletic field as the Director of Athletics at Ohio University and Assistant Athletic Director for compliance at NC State University.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Apex, N.C., on Thursday, November 30th at 11 a.m. Interment of his ashes will be after the service in the church columbarium. The service will be live-streamed on their YouTube page.