In the golden years of the Loras' wrestling program (1967-81), it was fortunate to have many gifted athletes to build on a winning tradition and thrust the program in the national limelight. John Duffy (Class of 1978) was in the forefront. An NAIA All-America in his senior year (with a sixth place finish in the Nationals), he compiled an 83-13 record in his four years and the Duhawks were 39-9 as a team.
After an outstanding prep career at Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago, Duffy quickly impacted the Pat Flanagan-coached Duhawks, compiling an 11-0 dual record at 142-150 lbs as a freshman, winning his first 10 matches as a collegian before a tournament loss. His season record was 14-4 and Loras was 9-3 in dual meets. Excellence for Duffy followed yearly -- (17-3 for the 11-2 squad as a sophomore, 22-2 as a junior on a 9-3 team and closing with a 30-4 mark as a senior on a 10-1 team. His senior year saw him become only the school's second All-American via his finish in the tough NAIA Nationals, where his weight classes had 41 competitors - a stronger field than the NCAA Division II finals.
Thirty years after his last match, Duffy is still prominent in the Loras record book. His 22-2 junior year record is the eighth best single season percentage season and his .865 career winning percentage is fourth best ever. His winning pin in a mere 13 seconds ranks as one of the quickest in the program's history. Almost every season, Duffy was the squad leader in takedowns and team points earned.
Coaches Pat Flanagan and Bob Murphy (who headed the program for a year when Flanagan took a one-year sabbatical) lauded Duffy's leadership skills (captain as a junior and senior), for being a role model for teammates, an example of integrity and faith and one who always put team above individual accomplishments.
After receiving his degree in accounting, Duffy continues to be a sharing person in his community with work for the St. Vincent DePaul Society on their financial board and over the years has worked with hundreds of wrestlers at the grade and high school level. He is Vice-President of Finance for DS Container, and resides with wife Patrice in the Chicago suburb of Bartlett. They have five children - Becky, Katy, Dolly, Dave and Nick - two of who followed their dad's Loras sports steps, but as soccer players.