Hall of Fame

Thomas D'Armi, Jr. - Manager

Inducted in 2024

Born in Federalsburg, Md., Thomas was an All-America soccer player at East Stroudsburg State and graduated in 1960. He earned his master's degree at North Carolina in 1961, then became the head baseball coach at West Georgia College in 1962. In four seasons, 1962-65, he posted a record of 59-13, directed the team to three conference (GIAC) championships and was named league coach of the year three times. In 1990 he was inducted into the West Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. He then served as the assistant baseball coach at Mississippi State from 1966-73, during a time when the school won three SEC titles and played in the 1971 College World Series. Before going to Duke, Thomas trained heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson, traveled to Italy as the general manager and field boss for the Milan franchise in a European professional baseball league, and authored the book "Daddy, Will You Play Catch With Me?
D'Armi arrived at Duke in the fall of 1976 as the assistant coach to Enos Slaughter. He was named the program's head coach following the 1977 season and remained at the helm through May of 1984, posting a record of 125-98-2. Along with producing five straight winning ledgers, D'Armi's victory totals of 29 in 1981 and 25 in 1984 were at that time the best marks in school history behind only the 31 wins achieved by the 1952 College World Series team. He also handled groundskeeping duties at Duke's Jack Coombs Field, grooming the field on his tractor early in the morning before every home game and lining the field himself. He eventually took over management of all of Duke's athletic facilities, including Cameron Indoor Stadium and Wallace Wade Stadium. Thomas retired after 28 years of service at Duke in 2004 and passed away in 2010.