Will Muschamp reportedly has found his man, ending a nearly month-long hunt for Florida’s next offensive coordinator. Edward Aschoff of ESPN is reporting that Florida and former Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper have agreed in principle to a deal where Roper will be the new offensive coordinator at Florida.
The interview process with Roper began Monday morning when a UAA jet picked up Roper in North Carolina and flew him to Gainesville where he met with Muschamp — a visit that was first confirmed by Gator Country’s Richard Johnson.
It turns out that you don’t fly coaches in from out of state and show them around the facilities for no reason at all, particularly coordinators whose offense averaged 4.45 yards per rush (25 touchdowns), 7.1 yards per pass attempt (3,047 yards and 23 touchdowns) and 5.68 yards per play (408.1 yards per game and 48 offensive touchdowns) while winning a division title in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Roper was formerly the co-offensive coordinator at Duke and one of five finalists for the 2013 Broyles Award, which is handed out annually to the nation’s best assistant coach. In addition to being co-offensive coordinator, Roper served as quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach to David Cutcliffe.
Roper spent the last five years at Duke with Cutcliffe building a program that was the laughing stock in the ACC to one that went to a bowl game last season and won the division title and 10 games this year. Roper has an extensive history of coaching in the SEC dating back to his days as a graduate assistant at Tennessee (1996-98) where he worked with Peyton Manning and with Tee Martin during Tennessee’s national championship season in 1998. Roper went with Cutcliffe to Ole Miss where he spent six years coaching quarterbacks under Cutcliffe. His star pupil at Ole Miss was Eli Manning.
In 2005, Roper joined the staff at Kentucky as a quarterback coach where he worked extensively with current Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, who was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator at the time. After one season, Roper returned to Tennessee where he worked with Cutcliffe again before joining the Cutcliffe staff at Duke.
Landing Roper fulfills the promise Muschamp has been making the past month, telling recruits and anyone who will listen that Florida will move to a spread, up-tempo offense next season. A spread offense that alternates quick tempo with no huddle was Roper’s calling card at Duke.
Terms of the contract were not made available and Florida would not confirm or deny the reports as of Christmas Eve but we were told that that could change.
Duke will take on Texas A&M on December, 31 at 8 p.m. in the Chic-fil-a Bowl. As of the announcement, it was unsure if Roper would remain on staff at Duke through the bowl game.