ESPN has a cool article on David Cutcliffe, Duke’s new head football coach. The more interesting details include that he resigned from assistant head coach at Notre Dame in 2005 after a triple-bypass surgery (I wonder if Duke’s hospitals helped in getting him here) and that Duke is spending mondo cash on their coaching staff:
He has a six-year contract that is guaranteed and will pay him $1.5 million annually. He had more than $2 million to use in assembling his staff. To put that figure in perspective, the Tennessee staff on which he was the offensive coordinator in 2007 was paid a total of $1.72 million (not counting coach Phillip Fulmer’s $2.05 million salary).
Cutcliffe was able to get many of the same coaches who worked for him at Ole Miss. He hired Mike MacIntyre away from the New York Jets to be his co-defensive coordinator. His other defensive coordinator also came from the NFL, Marion Hobby, who was with the New Orleans Saints the past two years.
Two of the assistants on Tennessee’s staff, Kurt Roper and Matt Luke, followed Cutcliffe to Duke, and he was able to pry Ron Middleton away from the Alabama staff to coordinate the Blue Devils’ special teams.
I know that coaching doesn’t account for everything, but it’s certainly a grand experiment in program building.