Cutcliffe offered Duke job, expected to accept position

David Cutcliffe

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David Cutcliffe

Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe has been offered the head coaching position at Duke and is expected to accept the job, sources within UT’s football program told the News Sentinel on Thursday.

Cutcliffe was at home Thursday after interviewing for the job in Durham, N.C.

Cutcliffe and UT coach Phillip Fulmer did not return numerous calls from the News Sentinel seeking comment. UT athletic director Mike Hamilton declined comment, citing a professional policy not to address coaching searches.

It is unknown if Cutcliffe will continue to coach the Vols through bowl practice. UT will play Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 1. Bowl practice resumes on Friday, following a four-day break for final exams.

Reports as late as Thursday had former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell pegged as a possible successor to Ted Roof, who was fired by Duke following a 1-11 record in 2007.

However, there were concerns with Dorrell, who has spent most of his career in the NFL and on the West Coast coaching college football. Dorrell would have to assemble a coaching staff willing to move and prove that he would have adequate recruiting connections along the Eastern seaboard.

Dorrell also struggled at UCLA, a program that is perceived to have sufficient support and facilities, before being fired.

As for Cutcliffe, he has proven he can succeed as a head coach at a program with inferior financial support and facilities, which will certainly be the case at Duke.

During his six seasons at Ole Miss from 1999-2004, Cutcliffe compiled a 44-29 record with the Rebels and coached Ole Miss to four bowl victories against one loss. He was the only Rebels coach in history to win at least seven games in each of his first five seasons.

The Blue Devils have won just 22 games in 13 years, including three losing streaks of 15 games or more.

Two coaches that Duke had interviewed withdrew their names from consideration. Ex-Navy coach Paul Johnson chose Georgia Tech and Bobby Johnson pulled his name out to remain at Vanderbilt.

Cutcliffe has coached at UT for two seasons as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach after returning to Knoxville following his stay at Ole Miss. He coached 17 seasons at UT. Before that he coached at Banks High School in Birmingham, Ala.

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Comments » 168

blewissmith writes: who are we gonna go after?

Phowell23 writes:

Great...since Cutcliffe is moving on I doubt we have any shot at Terrell Pryor now.

LargeOrange writes:

Well there you go, all of the Coach Cut haters got your wish, now who do we go get to take over as OC? Can you blame him? IF he get Duke to a Outback quality bowl he can name his salary and retire a hero in Duraham. If he stays here and doesn't win the SEC every year and the NC every 4 years he is a bum according to all the Dink and Dunk haters that go as "fans" around this program.

McIntireIMP writes:

Trooper Taylor, you need to call your financial planner, because your salary is about to double.

Oenoboy writes:

Karl Dorrell was a pretty good OC at Colorado and Washington. Hmmm.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

Great! Are all you Haters happy. This will not come out better for UT from either offensive play or recruiting.

Wow! Great! Now we can have a championship contender. Oh, no we had one already?? Maybe this ain't so good.

brokebackvol writes:

I sure hope Fulmer doesn't make a huge mistake and promote Trooper Taylor to that position. Vols need a new modern offense anyway.

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

Thanks Coach Cut, good luck at're gonna need it!

ONUV writes:

time for a "natiwonwide" search for an OC

vanderbilt_sucks writes:

Al Borges, please come to Knoxville

orangesox writes:

Good luck to Cutcliffe. Now let's hope Fulmer can find another OC that can put up 30+ points per game.

99gator writes:

i know sjt18 will disagree but to quote one of the posters who will post here from time to time....


i think this is a big mistake for cutcliffe, unless he just wants to be a head coach that bad. the only positive is that area of the world is a beautiful place to live.

as for tennessee, i really don't think this will have a bad impact for the program even in the short term.... except for some possible recruits....but i don't know.

i don't think cutcliffe was a bad coordinator....far from it. but, i don't think he is irreplaceable either.

Huntingdonvol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

pmidude56#259103 writes:

Coach Cut put discipline back in the program and upgraded the offense the past two years. Who does that for the Vols now? Sure hope we go outside the family and hire some bright young innovative offensive mind instead of staying inside the family.

Congrats, Coach Cutliffe!

99gator writes:

i forgot to add one thing....

if cutcliffe was that valuable to tenn....then there were huge problems anyway. you should not be set back due to a loss of an assistant coach. a lot of successful programs lose assistants and are able to go on just fine.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Congrats Coach Cutcliffe. I believe we WILL miss you greatly... and you will miss TN. I we are both not missing anyone though.

This will truly reveal a lot about Coach Fulmer. I have always defended him and have said next year will determine whether the haters are valid.

If he can hire (inside or outside) someone who will really fly with it and he proves he can exist without Cutcliffe... he is justified. If not, I agree... it may be time for a change at head coach.

Until that is seen at the end of next season... GO VOLS!! GO FULMER!! GO CUTCLIFFE (but I think you should stay.)

gayatri_venky#362141 writes:

i think fulmer shud be fired and cutcliffe shud
be handed over the tenn job.

Lets not forget the program started going the moment cutcliffe took the ole mis job and also
he was one of the reason for tennessee's marginal revival the last 2 years.

BigOrangeJeeper writes:

Who ever gets his job will be walking into a great O-line, Good running backs, future great receivers, and many options at QB. If trooper gets it I think it will not be all bad but if he does not get it the next chance he gets to leave K-town he will be gone.

chucker6 writes:

What's Tee Martin doing now?

ONUV writes:

tee martin is doing something with the aafl, coaching high school football, and does a tv show on css on sundays in the fall.

Jagob38 writes:

I wonder if he will take Luke and Roper with him?

FatherVol writes:

I think it's time for The_Vol to put in his application.

agentorange writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

agentorange writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

rockytopfrog writes:

Plenty of you Monday morning QB idiots ought to apply. I'm sure your 8th grade flanker experience at Goodpasture JR High would serve UT well.

hdhurst writes:

Strangely enough, I feel most of you are right.

Yes...DC will have it difficult @ Duke.
Yes...DC is leaving a football "paradise" to coach at a place without the tools to make a winner.
Yes...replacing DC will be difficult, especially to maintain 30+ points per game.
Yes...Trooper Taylor is a great coach; I just don't he is ready to be the OC.
Yes...this may affect UT's chance @ Terrell, but again getting a top QB prospect has never really been a problem for UT, regardless who is OC.
Yes...DC (like other UT coaches) got tired of the constant dissatisfaction, even when things were enough to win.

With that in mind, this is about a man who is clearly a HC and wants this challenge to see if he still has it. Being at a place like Duke will certainly present that challenge. As far as the disgruntled few fans hating DC for leaving us, then I can guarantee you that was discussed when Coach Fulmer re-hired DC to be the OC again. So, really, the only real surprise is who will be the replacement.

Congrats, Coach Cutliffe and let's hope we land an awesome young OC to replace him. GO VOLS!!!

Ironcity writes:

Good Luck Coach your going to need it!!

rootin4volz writes:

Two Words on a replacement...TROOPER TAYLOR!!!! The rest of you who say no are bozos, and I can't believe that you would be screaming that Fulmer is not progressive enough, yet would say that Troop isn't ready to be an OC!!! Give me a break!

DenmarkVol_aka_Mbumburu writes:

Congrats, Coach Cut. Thanks for all you've done for the University of Tennnessee football program over the years.

We wish you and your family the very best.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

Huntingdonvol, who you calling dumbasses?----its you who cant even spell a 3 letter word "sad" (twice is not a typo--thats how to spell it)

I wish him well also but am quite ok now starting an influx of new inovative blood hopefully---don't blow it Phil, you can quiet some critics, make your life easier and inject some new energy into the program with the right replacement who has some creativity

eb502us#225637 writes:

Congrats to coach Cutcliffe. An early christmas present for everybody.

eb502us#225637 writes:

As for Trooper Taylor, I like the guy and hope he's here for a long time, but UT is not a place for an "on the job training" OC. Time to break the mold.

newtonrail writes:

I knew EB, the hater would show up with his friends. Nuts. Folks I have gone to every Tenn. game for more years than most of you have been around, and I have got the slightest idea if Taylor is ready to be and OC. I can tell you he's our recruiter in Chief, and he will be gone to Duke or some other place if he isn't promoted. Contrary to the naysayers on this site, several Vol coaches are hot prospects, but none more so than Trooper Taylor. And for EB, again, I hope don't choke on your ego.

Volnut writes:

I know sjt18 must be close to slitting his wrists but his man crush can continue as long as he follows DUKE. Keep the faith sjt18 life goes on even if your coach bolts for (IMHO) a better job. Guess Crompton is going to be left hanging.

Not trying to down play your hero but, I place the man on the same step on the ladder as bobby and nick....his loyalty is to himself instead of the program he came back to.

As a poster said earlier, shame me once....shame on me, shame me twice shame on you and CDC showed his true self in this matter IF...... and repeat.. IF he bolts for Duke........ The man is motivated by money and who can blame him but by god he left CPF holding the bag again and even if you can't see it, the man has serious character flaws. I for one will be glad to see HIM go AGAIN

chefjorge writes:

Cutcliffe was NEVER here to stay. It was a convenient situation for both parties. Thanks for doing a reasonably good job with rehabilitating the offense over the last two years, but there's plenty of room for improvement. I'm excited about Crompton's passion and abilities. He's going to be fun to watch. We should leave no stone unturned in looking for a perfect fit at OC. I'm not sayin' that Trooper Taylor isn't a good choice, but before he's hired it should be that whoever it is is the best choice.

chrisw2967 writes:

what will Fulmer ever do now if Cut. leaves ?
That should give Fulmer a couple more excuses to use on us fans next year.

volnut:your right sjt might be close to slitting his wrist by now , I dont know if I can stand another post about how our off. scored over 400 points.but

cwisenhower#637741 writes:

So my only question mark on our offense was QB after Ainge goes. All of our other positions have ample starters returning with star power, or at least more than ample SEC game experience. Who the hell is gonna coach Crompton to the star status that he needs? The man came in and turned a good QB into a great one, and now he's off to see the wizard again. I hope he doesn't come crawling back in 6 years. I'd take him, but damn. When he came back this time, didn't he say he didn't want a head coach job again for a really long time? Yeah, so what's this? phooey.

DenmarkVol_aka_Mbumburu writes:

Volnut, David Cutcliffe has serious character flaws? By trying to rise to the top of his profession? By coming back, swallowing his ego, and helping an old friend out of a jam?

By perhaps tripling his salary for his family in taking this job? By wanting to call the shots in his own program?

By wanting authority and responsibility for rebuilding a bottom-tier football program at a top-tier school?

Do you know the man, Volnut? Or are you basing that assassination on what you read and hear in the media, just like the rest of us?

We've all know for a long time that these boards are populated by quite a few people who don't know what the heck they're talking about...but thanks for reminding me.

Volnut writes:

What OC wants to come here when he knows every call will be under the watchful eye of CPF? If any of you think any OC comes here of even if Troop takes the nod... that they will have free reign? CPF has a tight grip on the O and you will either call his game or hit the road.

But then you ask me if that's the case, why did CDC leave the running game on the back burner while throwing for 1st down on a lat or a screen 9 yards from the 1st down marker on 3rd for 8-9 yards..... CPF wanted to burn the clock, kill the TOP...This is the same phooey that saw us lose many leads and end in the result in a L on the scoreboard. Even CDC left so many points on the board by dealing with CPF. BUT then again CDC played the same style while HC at Ole Siss... but he had a Manning in the coup to fall back on.

Ask yourself.. dealing with the talent CDC has had... what moron could screw that up? HS bolted too early but he both Mannings and MY god... AM did more to developed those kids that DAVID could dream...... CDC is a decent coach... DECENT but he isn't god and I don't care what the non player sport casters say. The man should have at least 1 if not 2 NC's under the helm of Peyton and company. CRS was closer in 2001 than CDC EVER was..... CDC bolted to UM before UT faced FSU... for those that think the man deserves one bit of loyalty needs to look at it openly..... The man left UT when it played for a MNC.........he's a bolter and a whore/prostitute just like Bobby and Nick.... Maybe not in the sense of leaving a program in the state these two dip wads left thers but he's pissing on the entire SR class as well as the entire class of underclassmen in his charge......sjt18 ... you need to pick your mentors much closer and for gods sake lose the MAN CRUSH you place on your hero's!

FWBVol writes:

Al Borges, are you serious, vanderbilt_sucks. Auburn had one of the worst offenses in the country this year, that's why he left Auburn. If fans think the offense is too run oriented now, they ain't seen nothing yet if Borges comes. I'd love to see Norm Chow come over from the Titans. Maybe that's a pipe dream, but the guy is a great QB coach and O-coordinator.

Most of us are only familiar with the big names out there. I have to believe that CPF has enough sense to have made a short list of possible candidates knowing that David Cutcliffe had expressed interest in being a head coach again.

I would hate to see Coach C go, and as others have said, I question if Duke isn't the ultimate career killer. But five years from now David Cutcliffe will be pushing 60 and if things haven't worked out at Duke I'm sure he'll have a nice buyout to retire on.

Thanks Coach for a job well done both times around and good luck in Durham.

As for all you nay sayers who wanted everyone to believe that nobody would hire him as a head coach again, it looks like your wrong.

dowdpat#654244 writes:

Ed Orgeron. Not a good X's & O's coach but would clean up in recruiting at UT.

cwisenhower#637741 writes:

Orgeron is a defensive guy. Who is your OC?

kobesp#241968 writes:

Hopefully we can get Sanders back.

raynochonspeed#212632 writes:

We are in serious trouble.

Recruiting, already in catch-up mode, will take a huge hit.

Getting an experienced OC will be extremely difficult at this time.

I love Trooper as much as anyone, but he's probably never called a play in a collegiate game in his life, much less schemed entire games against SEC-caliber DCs. Trooper is a motivator and teacher - oddly making him a better candidate for Head Coach than OC.

FWBVol writes:

Orgeron makes Forest Gump look like a PHD candidate, and as was already pointed out, he's a defensive guy. Sanders name is still being mentioned, I believe it's at Western Carolina. I don't think Sanders would be a good fit at this time. There are still too many people that blame him for a lot of the problems we had on offense in 2005.

UT might be able to get a name offensive coordinator from another BCS school, but it's rare to see a Jimbo Fisher type go from a LSU to FSU without some sort of promises down the road.

Let's face it, unless a guy is happy making $200,000-300,000 a year as a coordinator and doesn't want the headaches of being a head coach (and there are a few of those left), then any hot shot OC that comes in will be gone in a few years.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

02champs: You got a source or just speculation?

Cutcliffe said when he came he wanted to be a head coach again. Any man who says that... well, you know what you are getting.

I don't question his loyalty at all. The man thinks he can take care of business as "the boss" and he is dang well old enough to make that decision. I expected him to be here for two and he has done that. Thanks for the years Cut. Good luck with the mess you've got to work with.

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Hey, I bet we could get Bobby Petrino or Nick Saban to be our offensive coordinator. I hear that they are lookin' around for something.

fullbackless writes:

Saban is coaching at Alabama. Petrino just signed with Auburn. Get your facts straight. ;)

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Actually fullbackless... it was sarcasm applied towards the apparent lack of loyalty that each coach seems to display towards his team.

And I believe the facts are that Petrino is coaching at Arkansas... unless he just switched again! ;)

kevinc0465 writes:

I cant believe that some of you dont think Trooper Taylor should be the OC! I dont know how we have kept him so long without that. He is the most important recruiter we have and definately has the best relationships with the players. Its time UT gave him what he deserves. I will be sad to see Cut go but it would be very exciting to watch a Trooper Taylor offense. I think he would make it alot more fun, as well as a lot less painful to watch.

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