New to Duke’s baseball program is Waukesha, Wis., native Luke Fox. Though he may be a rookie this season, Fox is no amateur player. Coming onto the team with an impressive athletic transcript, the young pitcher wrapped up his high school career ranked as the second-best left-handed pitcher in the state of Wisconsin and 10th-best overall prospect in the state according to Perfect Game USA.
“I have played baseball for as long as I can remember,” Fox said. “My dad, my brother and I used to go play out in the front yard. It’s always been a part of my life.”
Early in his high school career Fox was making his mark in the state of Wisconsin, having been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Wisconsin Baseball Central Newcomer of the Year and later tabbed as a finalist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentential Area Player of the Year. Most impressive, however, is that his success was not only limited to the diamond.
At the start of sixth grade Fox began playing football. After noticing his potential, he decided to pursue the game in high school in hopes of following his father’s footsteps. Having played under the same coach as his old man, Fox led his team to not one but two back-to-back state championship victories, a feat that had not been accomplished by a quarterback in the Milwaukee-area since 1994. To Fox it was “an unbelievable, indescribable, out of body experience.”
“Football taught me a lot about cooperating,” Fox said. “Being part of great teams like the one’s I have been lucky enough to be a part of and winning the championships that we did, you know what it takes to have a championship caliber team and how much teamwork and preparation goes into that.”
Being a two-sport athlete means adjusting to differing team dynamics, game styles, and skill sets, a reality that Fox admits made his athletic endeavors all the more impressive.
“I’d say the thing that made it difficult was that I didn’t really have as much time in what would have been an offseason to prepare for one or the other, which maybe put me a little behind coming into college baseball compared to the guys who have been working on baseball nonstop year-round,” explains Fox. “But I think in the end, playing both and just getting to be an athlete and competing all the time helped me out more in the long run.”
When asked if having played football made him a better baseball player, the answer was an affirmative yes. In his eyes, “being a quarterback means you have to keep track of a lot of things at once. You have to be a guy that the rest of the team can look up to. In baseball that’s definitely something you can do if you choose to, but it’s not something you have to do. Football taught me to be that someone and lead by example.” Those are qualities the young pitcher has successfully adopted on the baseball field as well.
Fox is grateful for the chance to receive a first-rate education here at Duke and is excited to learn more about the school, its traditions and its people. To Fox Duke baseball means getting the chance to play in a competitive conference and learn under a “great coaching staff that’s building something [he] really wants to be a part of.”
Fox’s impact on the city of Milwaukee is undeniable. He is looking to do the same here at Duke.
“I just want to be someone people can look back on and remember for being a great teammate who worked hard all the time,” Fox continued. “I want to be somebody who takes advantage of the opportunities he gets to give back to the community and the fans that make up our community. Somebody who appreciates all the people we have supporting us and allowing us to do what we can. Somebody that wasn’t always for themselves and appreciated what they had.”
Duke will open the 2021 baseball season away in Conway, S.C., against Coastal Carolina on Feb. 19, a start to what will hopefully be a successful season for newcomer Luke Fox and the entire program.