David Cutcliffe to stay at Duke

Coaching search continues for the Vols

David Cutcliffe

Photo by News Sentinel file

David Cutcliffe

DURHAM, N.C.. — Football coach David Cutcliffe is staying at Duke.

Amid reports that he was a candidate for the opening at Tennessee, the two-time Volunteers assistant coach said Friday he would remain with the Blue Devils.

“After much thought and consideration, Karen and I reached the decision that Duke is the place for our family,” Cutcliffe said in a statement issued through the school.

Because of his deep-rooted connections to the Southeastern Conference and the Volunteers’ program, Cutcliffe was considered one of the obvious choices to replace Lane Kiffin, who left abruptly this week for Southern California.

“We have both family members and lifetime friends in the Knoxville community and share a deep respect for the University of Tennessee,” he said. “Our ties to the school and the eastern Tennessee area are obvious. But before Tennessee’s hiring process comes to a conclusion, I know that Duke University is where we want to coach.”

Duke athletic director Kevin White said Cutcliffe told him Friday morning that he “intends to remain the Duke football coach for a long time.”

“Simply put, we could not be happier or more excited about the future of the Blue Devils football program,” White said.

Cutcliffe was on Tennessee’s staff from 1982-1998 and from 2006-07, leaving twice to take head coaching jobs.

He went 44-29 with five bowl appearances in six-plus seasons at Mississippi from 1998-2004. Cutcliffe is 9-15 in two seasons at Duke, which won a combined eight games in the five years before he arrived. The Blue Devils are coming off a 5-7 finish, their best since 1994.

This marks the second time in nearly 15 months that he removed his name from consideration for the Tennessee job. When longtime friend and mentor Phillip Fulmer was forced out in November 2008, Cutcliffe quickly quashed speculation that he would return to Knoxville.

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Comments » 539

MikeInTN writes:

Thank Goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!

reeceb73 writes:

lovie smith is now the leading candidate??

HHUUMMBBLLEE writes:

P.T.L.

Orangeblood13 writes:

face it folks, we are in for a long nose dive down

kevin151 writes:

hip hip hooray

heyitsme writes:

Blessing in disguise...

mdvol writes:

Whew....

Go with the Bro! KIPPY!!!

or Lovie!

thvol writes:

Lets just hire John Fox away from Carolina and have it done!

Coach_Joe writes:

in response to reeceb73:

lovie smith is now the leading candidate??

Lovie Smith will not be the next coach at UT! Why in the world would he leave Chicago to have to worry about all the junk that's been going on here?

It's not going to happen. You might as well get that out of your head.

vet4ut writes:

in response to heyitsme:

Blessing in disguise...

Ditto.

Cut would have meant;
a) a steady hand
b) a ceiling of 9-4
c) fan apathy

GBO

99gator writes:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

rockytop4ever writes:

round and round we go...where we stop nobody knows!

londonvol writes:

Get Lovie and we get a great coach and not screw any other school's recruiting, golden rule always works

wally writes:

Thank you Mike Hamilton. We all want the best if not one of the best staffs in the country...that's critical.

99gator writes:

any new coach, cutcliffe or not, is going to want his own staff.

SandySpringsVol writes:

Don't believe Hamilton ever offered Cutcliffe. Likely had discussions with him, but Cut's staff requirements were too steep to climb.

Hamilton reportedly went to Chicago last night to talk to Lovie Smith. Lovie's not happy there and the Bears management isn't happy with him, despite leading them to a Super Bowl a few years ago.

Hamilton may be able to get the Bears to work on compensation (a partial buyout on the remainder of his contract), and that could get him in Knoxville as early as today.

Alt_news (Inactive) writes:

Tennessee just lost a head coaching candidate to Duke?

GainesvilleVol1 writes:

Name Kippy Brown today! Let him start on his staff, and find a "coach in waiting" to groom for the future like Muschamp, and put him in charge of Offense or Defense. I don't know who I would go after, but there has to be a lot of up and comming assistants out there. Please put an end to this, fire Hamiliton, and let's get on with our recuriting and rebuilding!

GO VOLS!!

vet4ut writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

I think it's a combo of realizing we have really good assistants and we don't want Cut's crappy assistants.

GR82BaTennesseeVOL writes:

KIP-PY...KIP-PY...KIP-PY!

Now, get Chavis to come back as D.C. (no, seriously, look at how great his defense was this year at LSU), keep Chaney as O.C. (the REAL reason for Crompton's turnaround, PLUS he's an excellent O-line coach), keep Willie Mack, MAYBE try to keep Thompson...

let Reaves & Cregg follow Kiffie like they're gonna do anyway...

FINALLY, bring in Jay Graham to coach RBs, and Al Wilson to coach D-line or if Thompson leaves, then Big Al can obviously coach LBs.

wvvolfan#270034 writes:

Nobody wants this job. It will be Kippy Brown. Time is running out and he is the only one interested.

Volsrbest writes:

Kippy!

ScoobyDooVol writes:

Whew!

flafan2001 writes:

Bobby Bowden will retain all remaining assistants. Just needs to coach long enough to reach 400 wins.

volunteerintexas writes:

Who's next on Fulmer's list? Don Shula?

reeceb73 writes:

http://www.tonybasilio.com/
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/...

this rumor has some legs, but i don't know if its true

rockytop4ever writes:

Where did Mike Hamilton learn to negotiate? Staff issues? Every coach wants to bring his own staff in. Is Hammy trying to protect Chaney and the crew? Why? I bet they all leave anyways.

TxFatBoy writes:

Best news in 2 days! Now, slow down and pick right!

rockydog writes:

Hallelujah!! Now lets go get a coach that will and can recruit and that the recruits can get excited over. I say try Calhoun (again), UConn's coach (Edsell?), Harbaugh from Stanford, Fitzgerald from Northwestern, and Gus Mahzalan(sp?)from Auburn. Go Vols!

MidTennVol writes:

This is GOOD news -- who in their right minds would trade Jim Chaney, Lance Thompson, Jim Cregg, and Willie Mack Garza for Matt Luke and Luke Roper?

I'm leaning more and more towards Kippy, provided he keeps these coaches.

Exiled writes:

in response to SandySpringsVol:

Don't believe Hamilton ever offered Cutcliffe. Likely had discussions with him, but Cut's staff requirements were too steep to climb.

Hamilton reportedly went to Chicago last night to talk to Lovie Smith. Lovie's not happy there and the Bears management isn't happy with him, despite leading them to a Super Bowl a few years ago.

Hamilton may be able to get the Bears to work on compensation (a partial buyout on the remainder of his contract), and that could get him in Knoxville as early as today.

Yeah, I'm like you: I din't believe that there was ever an offer. I like CDC, but I'm glad to hear this.

kd45music writes:

This is insane! Somebody step in and take over for this moron, Hamilton. He got us into this mess and he is incapable of getting us out. Cut would have been good for the program, so wallow in your slop all you naysayers. Now what!

give_him_6 writes:

I think it's best for all parties involved! Just find a good coach. Don't be a in a big hurry. Do it right!!!

SandySpringsVol writes:

in response to Coach_Joe:

Lovie Smith will not be the next coach at UT! Why in the world would he leave Chicago to have to worry about all the junk that's been going on here?

It's not going to happen. You might as well get that out of your head.

Don't be so sure... Hamilton reportedly went to the Windy City last night.

orangeinbama writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

You got it. Probably required to keep some remaining asst's .... I assume thats why we couldnt get several coaches and have been rejected..

movol77 writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

Now that MH has been turned down by four coaches it appears:
1. MH is negotiating the future based on assistants.
2. MH is next to turn down his next offer.
3. MH is in trouble!

lahvolman2 writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!! JUST ADD UP HOW MUCH IT WILL COST TO BUY OUT ALL 6 ASSISTANTS.... NEXT COACH WILL BE ABLE TO BRING 3 OF HIS OWN AT THE MOST.. BUCKLE UP FOR A LONG ROCKY RIDE VOL FANS... GRIPE AND COMPLAIN ALL YOU WANT... FREE COUNTRY.. BUT GRIPE IS ALL YOU CAN DO... HAMILTON IS IN CHARGE AND IT ALL RESTS IN HIS HANDS... KEEP THE FAITH...

lomas98 writes:

So Hamilton is making the new coach keep the current staff so he doesn't owe them buyouts. If that is the case, just hire someone on the current staff like Kippy and be done with it. Does Hamilton know the rest of the staff even wants to stay or will they bolt to USC with Kiffin?

roloyo writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

I would think its about the kids they're recruiting. JMO

TxFatBoy writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly right! So why are you here? I know the odor in Bama is so foul that no one would WANT to hang out there...but this is the internet. You can go to a Bama site and not have to breathe the air. Oh, do they HAVE computers in Alabama?

vet4ut writes:

in response to GR82BaTennesseeVOL:

KIP-PY...KIP-PY...KIP-PY!

Now, get Chavis to come back as D.C. (no, seriously, look at how great his defense was this year at LSU), keep Chaney as O.C. (the REAL reason for Crompton's turnaround, PLUS he's an excellent O-line coach), keep Willie Mack, MAYBE try to keep Thompson...

let Reaves & Cregg follow Kiffie like they're gonna do anyway...

FINALLY, bring in Jay Graham to coach RBs, and Al Wilson to coach D-line or if Thompson leaves, then Big Al can obviously coach LBs.

Yeah, ask LSU fans how excited they were about Chavis. Listen dude, the Mustang package does not need to ever be gracing the volunteer sidelines again.

Let's look at coaching for the future, not in our past...

JPSkier writes:

Good. I was not pumped about Cutcliffe and certainly not his current staff. This is getting embarassing though. I guess UT isn't such a dream job after all. We've been turned down by 3 pretty mediocre candidates in my opinion. I'm not that pumped about this Lovie Smith rumor either.

volfreak#210492 writes:

in response to Alt_news:

Tennessee just lost a head coaching candidate to Duke?

No, we lost a coaching candidate that did the right thing for his staff and his players.... And I'm glad he didn't bail on them at this late in the game like our coach did.

Exiled writes:

in response to kd45music:

This is insane! Somebody step in and take over for this moron, Hamilton. He got us into this mess and he is incapable of getting us out. Cut would have been good for the program, so wallow in your slop all you naysayers. Now what!

Deep breathes, deep breathes... I have a feeling that this will all work out in the end. I bet Hamilton had a contingency plan in place. We've been chasing red herrings.

Volsrbest writes:

Give Kippy $2.5M and finish it. Lovie Smith is not $1.5M better than Kippy. Don't waste the money. Pay Kippy and leave money for a solid staff. Keep everyone there (except maybe Reaves) and move forward.

volboy81 writes:

I like Cutcliff, but dont think he would have gotten the job done as HC....hesitating to leave Duke for Tennessee is about all anyone needs to know!! I think Kippy or Lovey will do much better than Cut would have. WE WILL BE FINE!!!!!!!

BrewerTL writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

Looks that way. Kiffin sure did leave a lot of complications behind. It's like it was intentional all along. Like he thoroughly planned, thought of everything, then pulled the plug leaving UT in pieces.

Still can't believe Monty got a $300K retention bonus on Jan 1 then left twelve days later. I guess I'm just too young to remember, but where Monty's rep came from I'll never know.

Autochthonic writes:

He has done a good job a Duke and thats where he needs to stay. It would be like a return of the old regime. A little above average, always waiting on next year and the next big recruit. This situation has gotten critical. Lame has really screwed UT in more ways than one. 5 years minimum to recover, if they even get the right coach. What a snake oil salesman. How can someone with such a losing record advance so far?

CumBreath writes:

I think we need to keep the staff that's here. We have some very good assistants.

TommyJack writes:

in response to 99gator:

do they not want to buy out the assistants?

Of course not. But it says to me that Mikey prevailed and the Pumpkin and his old boy network didn't.

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