Carl "Duke" Iverson was born in Seattle, Wash., to Wendell and Anne Iverson. He graduated from Pe Ell High School in 1958. Following high school, Duke earned his B.A. degree in chemistry from Whitman College in 1962, and his Ph.D. in biological science from the University of Wisconsin in 1967.
In the fall of 1967, Duke began his highly successful coaching career at Western State College of Colorado. Over the next 50 years, his impact as a coach stretched from Colorado, where he coached the Western Colorado Mountaineers for 12 seasons (1988-1995 and 1997-2000), all the way to Oregon, coaching the Western Oregon Wolves (1985-1987 and 2001-2004). He also spent time coaching in South Dakota (Black Hills State University), Austria, Finland, Australia, and Sweden.
Duke amassed a record of 126-84-3 as a college head coach. He collected eight conference championships and name the NAIA Division I Coach of the Year in 1991. He was named RMAC Coach of the Year six times. Duke was enshrined into the Black Hills State College Hall of Fame, the Western State University Hall of Fame, and was a lifetime member of the American Football Association.
From 2008 to 2016, Duke was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for Central High School in Oregon. He helped the Panthers win five conference championships, three of which led to semi-final appearances. Duke had cherished relationships with everyone who crossed his path, and many will say he was the most intelligent person they ever met. He is credited with writing his doctoral thesis on tree fungus and was a contributing author to Snow Lovers Guide to Winter Sports (Prentice-Hall, 1979). Duke and his wife, Rita, loved to travel. They spent the past 12 years exploring the United States, coaching football in several countries throughout Europe, and traveling to Australia multiple times to visit his daughters and their families. Duke also enjoyed visiting with and attending his grandkids' events, including sports games, track meets, concerts, plays, recitals, and graduations.
Another great passion of Duke's was to keep up on all levels of football. He would spend parts of each day reading and researching the latest developments on and off the field. The greatest part of his day would be talking to a former player or coach. His first question would always be about their family.
Duke was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sister, Carol Strommer of Enumclaw, Wash.; wife, Rita Iverson of Monmouth, Ore.; daughters, Christine (Michael) Iverson of Manly, Australia, Karen (Dave) Menzies of Narrabeen, Australia, Carla (Mike) Moha of Warrenton, Ore.; stepson, Alex (Melissa) Armijo of Castle Rock, Colo.; 10 grandchildren, Serena, Zander, Connor, Jasmine, Rebecca, Samantha, Alexander, Autumn, Dominic, and Elizabeth; niece, Sina; and nephew, Scott.
Assisting the family is Farnstrom Mortuary. A family only service was held Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at 11 a.m. A celebration of life will be held at both Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., and Western State University in Gunnison, Colo. Each of these universities plan to establish a Duke Iverson Scholarship Fund, more information will be available on their websites in the near future.