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Oct. 27, 2003

By Tom Price, Gamecock Historian

When Stan Juk graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry he had two options.

Drafted by the Miami Dolphins he could take a crack at the National Football League or he could accept three academic scholarships and go to the Duke University medical school. Professional football was a tempting opportunity but medical school won out and Juk is now one of the most prominent and respected cardiologists in the state of South Carolina.

In addition to a scholarship from Duke, Juk was awarded an NCAA scholarship and a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete scholarship. He is a principal in an eight-doctor firm, Columbia Cardiology Consultants. He has, among many other honors, served as chief of staff at Providence Hospital.

Juk played rover back in the Gamecock defensive secondary for three seasons, 1964-65, under Coach Marvin Bass and 1966 under Coach Paul Dietzel. The position was called Spur in the Gamecock defensive system used by Coach Lou Holtz from 2000-02 and is described by Juk as “half strong safety and half linebacker.”

Juk was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic team in 1965 and 1966 and was good enough on the field to play in the East-West Shrine All-Star game in San Francisco after his senior season. He was named an honorable mention Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors.

At six-feet-two and 210 pounds, Juk built a reputation as a tough competitor, sure tackler and pass defender. One of his better plays, however, came on special teams when he threw a key block on a school record setting 98 yard punt return by Bobby Bryant in a 31-21 win over North Carolina State in the 1966 game that dedicated Carter Stadium in Raleigh.

However, he says the most fun he ever had in a football game was a 17-16 win over Clemson in 1965. Carolina led 17-10 in the fourth quarter. Bryant halted a Tiger drive with an interception at the Gamecock 12 yard line but Clemson again drove to the Carolina 18 when Juk recovered a fumble. On its next possession Clemson drove to a touchdown with 40 seconds remaining to cut the Carolina lead to one point. Clemson lined up for a tying point but faked the kick and threw a pass. Linebacker Bobby Gunnels broke up the two-point try in the end zone to preserve the Carolina win.

“That was really fun. The most fun I ever had in a football game,” Juk remembered 38 years later.

Selected in the 12th round by the Dolphins, Juk was one of three Gamecocks drafted by NFL teams in 1967. Tackle Paul Phillips was picked in the 16th round by the San Diego Chargers and Bryant was a seventh round pick by the Minnesota Vikings. Bryant went on to a 14 year NFL league career that included four Super Bowl seasons while Juk turned his attention toward a career in medicine.

Juk graduated from medical school and served his internship and residency at the University of Alabama medical school in Birmingham. He completed cardiology training at Providence Hospital in Columbia in 1971.

Juk’s family has a long affiliation with Carolina beginning with his uncle, Ray Avant, who was a welterweight boxing champion with the Gamecocks in the late 1940s when boxing was a popular sport on the intercollegiate scene.

Stan’s wife, the former Ann McDonald of Columbia, graduated from Carolina in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Stan’s sister, now Mrs. Susan Juk Salley, is a 1980 Business Administration graduate. She and her family live next door to Stan and Ann Juk in Columbia.

Steven Stanley Juk III has earned three degrees from Carolina. He received the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics in 1994, an MBA in 1999, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2001. Steven presently works in the pacemaker laboratory of his father’s medical practice.

Their daughter, Katherine, however, began her higher education experience out of state at the University of Alabama but returned home to graduate from Columbia College. She currently teaches second grade at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and she and her husband, Stephen Draffin, will present Stan and Ann Juk with their first grandchild in January. Draffin is a graduate of Wofford College.

Stan Juk grew up in Georgetown on the South Carolina coast where he was a four-sport athlete and valedictorian of his graduating class at Winyah High School. He starred in football under coach J. C. Hudson and also played basketball and baseball and ran on the track team.