David Cutcliffe: Wikis


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David Cutcliffe
Title Head coach
College Duke University
Sport Football
Conference ACC
Team record 9-15
Born September 16, 1954 (1954-09-16) (age 55)
Place of birth Birmingham, AL
Annual salary $1.5 million/year[1]
Career highlights
Overall 53-44
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1 SEC Western Division Title (2003)
2003 SEC Coach of the Year
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Banks High School (Assist.)
Banks High School
Tennessee (part-time)
Tennessee (TE)
Tennessee (QB)
Tennessee (OC/QB)
Ole Miss
Notre Dame (QB/assist. HC)
Tennessee (OC)

David Cutcliffe (born September 16, 1954) is the head football coach of the Duke University Blue Devils and the former head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. He is best-known for coaching Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning, at Tennessee, and Eli Manning, at Ole Miss, and for producing record setting offenses at both schools. Almost all offensive records at both schools were set during Cutcliffe's time as coach.


Early life

Cutcliffe was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, which played a formative role in his development as a football coach.[2] He has two brothers (Charles "Paige" Cutcliffe, and Raymond Eugene "JR." Cutcliffe) and three sisters (Mary Marlyn Cutcliffe Sullivan, Margart Lynn Cutcliffe, and Elizabeth "Buff" Cutcliffe Easterly.) Cutcliffe attended Banks High School in Birmingham where he played football. He attended the University of Alabama where he worked as a student assistant on Bear Bryant's Alabama staff.

Early coaching history

Cutcliffe's coaching career began at Banks High School where he served as an assistant and later as the head coach. In 1982 he was hired as a part time coach at the University of Tennessee. A year later Cutcliffe was promoted to full time status as the tight ends and assistant offensive line coach. By 1990 Cutcliffe was coaching the position he is now so well known for, quarterbacks. In 1993 Cutcliffe was promoted to offensive coordinator. As coordinator, Cutcliffe helped lead the Vols to two SEC Championships and a National Championship.

Head coaching

On December 2, 1998, Cutcliffe was hired as the head football coach at Ole Miss. Cutcliffe had success at Ole Miss, where he recruited Eli Manning, son of Ole Miss player Archie Manning, to play quarterback. In 2003, Cutcliffe tied LSU for the West Division title and a win in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

Cutcliffe was fired by Ole Miss's Athletic Director Pete Boone in December 2004 after his only losing season at Ole Miss. Boone had asked Cutcliffe to provide a detailed plan for improving the program, specifically the defense and recruiting, as well as fire his assistant coaches, but Cutcliffe refused, and was subsequently fired along with his assistants.[3]

Post Mississippi

After his stint at Ole Miss, Cutcliffe was hired as the Assistant Head Coach and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame, but health problems forced him to resign. In 2005, he underwent successful triple-bypass surgery to correct a 99-percent blocked artery.[4] After taking a year off he returned to Knoxville, where he had coached Tennessee's offense during the 1990s, and where his sons, Chris Cutcliffe and Marcus Hilliard attended college and his daughter, Katie Cutcliffe, currently attend college. After Cutcliffe's successor as offensive coordinator at Tennessee, Randy Sanders, resigned, Phillip Fulmer rehired Cutcliffe to replace him.

Cutcliffe led a major turnaround of the Tennessee offense during the 2006 season. Tennessee had players in the top 25 in passing (Erik Ainge) and top 3 in receiving (Robert Meachem).

Duke University

Cutcliffe was hired as the head football coach at Duke University on December 14, 2007.[5] He was hired to replace Ted Roof who had amassed a 6-45 win-loss record (3–33 in the ACC) over four plus years. Duke has had only three winning seasons in the last 25 years and, before the 2008 season, had not beaten an ACC opponent in over three seasons.[6]

Cutcliffe immediately began a strength and conditioning program, challenging the team to collectively lose 1,000 pounds, after finding the team in less than ideal physical shape.[7]

On Saturday, August 30, 2008, David Cutcliffe won his first game as Duke's head coach, defeating the James Madison Dukes 31–7, before a crowd of 32,571, the largest on-hand in Wallace Wade Stadium since 1994.[8][9] The game marked the introduction of a number of rituals which Cutcliffe hopes to turn into Duke traditions, including: the Blue Devil Walk, parading the players and coaching staff from Duke Chapel, through West Campus and past Cameron Indoor Stadium to Wallace Wade Stadium[10] and the "Blue Devil Rock," located in the stadium tunnel, mined from the same quarry used in the construction of West Campus of Duke University.[11]

In the following game, Duke lost to Northwestern in a mirror image game of the year before, falling short of a touchdown deep in Northwestern territory twice. After the home loss against Northwestern, Navy challenged Duke in Wallace Wade and Duke won 41–31. Cutcliffe then led Duke to its first ACC victory since 2004, with a 31–3 rout of Virginia.[12]. This was a complete turn-around compared to the team's 2006 game against UVA in which the Blue Devils were shut out 37–0 in Wallace Wade. Duke proceeded to lose to Georgia Tech and Miami before notching its first road win of the season, a 10–7 victory over SEC opponent Vanderbilt. Next, on the road at Wake Forest, Duke lost a heartbreaker in overtime, 33–30, missing what would have been a game-winning field goal at the end of regulation. That was the second time a Duke kicker had done that, following the miss at UNC in the previous season. The next game, Duke went on to lose to a vulnerable Clemson team 31–7.

QB coaching

Cutcliffe has coached NFL quarterbacks Heath Shuler, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Erik Ainge and Brady Quinn. Cutcliffe was also the quarterback coach to Colorado Rockies first baseman, Todd Helton, while the QB coach for the Volunteers.


Cutcliffe is married to the former Karen Oran of Harriman, TN. They have four children: Marcus (23), Chris (22), Katie (20), and Emily (9).

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Ole Miss Rebels (Southeastern Conference) (1998–2004)
1998* Ole Miss 1–0* 0–0* W Independence
1999 Ole Miss 8–4 4–4 3rd (West) W Independence 22 22
2000 Ole Miss 7–5 4–4 3rd (West) L Music City
2001 Ole Miss 7–4 4–4 5th (West)
2002 Ole Miss 7–6 3–5 4th (West) W Independence
2003 Ole Miss 10–3 7–1 T-1st (West) W Cotton 14 13
2004 Ole Miss 4–7 3–5 3rd (West)
Ole Miss: 44–29 25–23 *hired and coached last game of 1998, the Independence Bowl.
Duke Blue Devils (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2008–2009)
2008 Duke 4–8 1–7 6th (Coastal)
2009 Duke 5–7 3–5 5th (Coastal)
Duke: 9–15 4–12
Total: 53–44
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ ESPN: Sources: Vols' offensive coordinator hired as Duke's coach
  2. ^ Cohen, Ben (2009-04-09). "Cutcliffe recalls tension from past". Duke Chronicle. http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2009/04/09/News/Cutcliffe.Recalls.Tension.From.Past-3704414.shtml.  
  3. ^ Associated Press via ESPN: Coach reportedly refused to ax coordinators
  4. ^ Cohen, Ben (2008-09-22). "Leading with the heart". Duke Chronicle. http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2008/09/22/Football/Leading.With.The.Heart-3444104.shtml.  
  5. ^ McCreary, Joedy (2007-12-14). "AP: Duke Hires Cutcliffe As Coach". Associated Press. http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2007/12/14/1164776-ap-duke-hires-cutcliffe-as-coach.  
  6. ^ "Duke Blue Devils 2004 Football booklet". Theacc.com. http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/acc/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/duke-37-42.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-12.  
  7. ^ Flaherty, Will (2008-01-31). "CUTCLIFFE'S CUT-THROAT CONDITIONING CHALLENGE". Duke Chronicle. http://media.www.dukechronicle.com/media/storage/paper884/news/2008/01/31/Football/Cutcliffes.CutThroat.Conditioning.Challenge-3180261.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-01.  
  8. ^ Carr, A.J. (2008-08-31). "Devils dispose of Dukes". News & Observer (McClatchy). http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/duke/football/story/1200988.html. Retrieved 2008-08-31.  
  9. ^ Dell, John (2008-08-31). "Duke opens season with victory against JMU 31-7". Winston Salem Journal. http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2008/aug/31/duke-opens-season-with-victory-against-jmu-31-7/. Retrieved 2008-09-01.  
  10. ^ Tomko, Michael (2008-08-31). "Cutcliffe Thanks Fans For Attending First Game". GoDuke.com. http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=1572991. Retrieved 2008-08-31.  
  11. ^ "Cutcliffe For President! Duke 31, JMU 7". DukeBasketBallReport.com. 2008-08-31. http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/articles/?p=25649. Retrieved 2008-08-31.  
  12. ^ "Duke capitalizes on five second-half turnovers in rout". http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/recap?gameId=282710150. Retrieved 30 November 2008.  
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ted Roof
Duke University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tommy Tuberville
University of Mississippi Head Football Coaches
Succeeded by
Ed Orgeron
Preceded by
Jim Herrmann
Broyles Award for Assistant Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Ralph Friedgen


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