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Rennie says he will retire after season at Duke.

Munga Eketebi
John Rennie has led Duke to a 1986 NCAA Division I championship and five apearances in the Final Four.
-- Duke University web site photo --

DURHAM, N.C. (Wednesday, August 22, 2007) -- John Rennie, who led Duke to national prominence by winning a NCAA championship and advancing to five Final Fours, announced Monday that the upcoming season would be his last.

Rennie's first victory this season will be his 400th at Duke. In 28 years at the Blue Devils' helm, he led his club to a 399-153-33 (.710) record, giving him a 443-199-47 (.677) mark in 35 years as a head coach.

"My decision to make the 2007 season my last at Duke was finalized over the last several weeks," said Rennie, who will turn 63 on September 26. "I absolutely love my job. However, it is time to move onto a new chapter in my career."

Rennie is third among active Division I coaches in wins, sixth all-time. When the Blue Devils captured NCAA title in 1986, it was the first time a Duke team in any sport had won a national championship.

Duke director of athletics Joe Alleva indicated a search for a new coach will not commence until the 2007 season is completed. "John Rennie is one of the best coaches in college sports and has developed an elite soccer program at Duke," Alleva said. "He is a Hall of Fame-caliber coach who will always be remembered for bringing Duke athletics its first national championship in 1986. He has gained the ultimate respect of everyone here at Duke, including the long list of outstanding young men who have played for him and represented this school in a first-class manner."

Rennie's teams have produced 26 winning records in his 28 years and have been to the NCAA tournament 19 times. Prior to his arrival, Duke had played in only one NCAA tournament soccer match. In his fourth season, the Blue Devils were undefeated before falling 2-1 to Indiana in an eighth overtime period of the title game, the longest NCAA match to that point.

Four years later, Duke won the national crown and Final Four appearances followed in 1992, 1995 and 2004. In the latter two appearances, the Blue Devils fell in the championship game.

Rennie holds Atlantic Coast Conference career records for victories as a coach at an ACC school (399) and in ACC matches (91). The Blue Devils won the league title five times, in 1980, 1982, 1999, 2005 and 2006, under his guidance. By taking the tournament title the last two seasons, Duke became only the second repeat winner since the event began in 1987.

Rennie was voted national "Coach of the Year" in 1982 and ACC "Coach of the Year" five times (1980, 1983, 1987, 1997 and 1999). Six of his players have earned national "Player of the Year" recognition -- Joe Ulrich (1982), Mike Jeffries (1983), Tom Kain (1985), John Kerr (1986), Jay Heaps (1998) and Ali Curtis (2000).

Duke opens its regular season August 31 at home against Delaware. "It has been an honor to work with and coach the kind of people this great university attracts," Rennie said, "I am very much looking forward to what I anticipate will be an outstanding 2007 season for our team."

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