When David Cutcliffe arrived on the Duke campus in 2008, the Blue Devils were coming off a stretch when the main purpose of the football team was to provide some humorous interludes before Coach K and the men's basketball team began fall practice. Under former FB coach Ted Roof, Duke had been a woeful 4-42.
Needless to say Cutcliffe, with a pedigree which included a stint at Tennessee working with a QB named Peyton Manning and then another stop at Ole Miss working with a QB named Eli Manning, didn't have to climb many steps to elevate Duke football.
But not even Cutcliffe could look into the future and project a 10-year run, which included a sready climb, including a Coastal Division championship in the Atlantic Coast Conference and a winning record (41-28) over the past five and half seasons.
When asked this summer if he could have projected such a career path which included a decade of tenure in Durham, Cutcliffe laughed and said, "" I would have said I hope so. But I don't think you would bet on it..''
Bet on it-- and the future--now. After tumbling to a 4-8 record a year ago following 10, 9 and 8 win seasons, Duke is now a glossy 4-0 following Saturday's victory (for the second consecutive season) over North Carolina. ""It's been a great place to be,'' said Cutcliffe, who concedes he has had offers to continue his career in more high profile places in college football. "And its going to be a great place to be.''
No one at Duke is going to argue with that premise. which is why David Cutcliffe is this week's TMG' Newsmaker of the Week.
Cutcliffe, who signed a contract extension over the summer through the 2020 football season, has the Blue Devils talking football and feeling football as another college basketball season approaches. The next challenge will come on Friday night when Miami comes to Duke for a Friday Night Lights showdown with the Hurricanes.