It appears that the University of Tennessee can't even turn to an old friend to help the school replace Lane Kiffin, as Duke football coach David Cutcliffe has announced he is staying at Duke, according to a statement Friday.
Amid reports that he was a candidate for the opening at UT, Cutcliffe said Friday he would remain with the Blue Devils because "Duke is the place for our family."
Cutcliffe was on Phil Fulmer's Tennessee coaching staff from 1982-1998 and from 2006-07. In a statement issued through Duke, Cutcliffe acknowledged his ties to Tennessee but said he will stay put for now.
He is 9-15 in two seasons at Duke, which won a combined eight games in the five years before he arrived.
ESPN.com reported on Thursday that Cutcliffe would be the emerging candidate after two other coaches turned down offers to come to Knoxville.
University of Texas assistant coach Will Muschamp decided to stay put with the Longhorns. The Air Force Academy website also said that Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, had decided to stay put at the service academy.
“We are more than grateful and proud to be closely involved with the character building of our cadets and the mission of the United States Air Force Academy. We are diligently recruiting and working with our team to prepare for the upcoming season. We look forward to coaching and being a part of the Air Force Academy team both on and off the field in 2010,” Calhoun said in a statement posted at the official athletics website for Air Force sports.
Cutcliffe, 55, coached Peyton Manning as offensive coordinator at Tennessee and coached his brother Eli Manning while serving as head coach at Ole Miss. He is currently 9-15 in two seasons as the Blue Devils head coach. Cutcliffe was 44-29 during his tenure at Mississippi.
According to various reports, UT athletics director Mike Hamilton had hoped to have a new coach in place by this weekend to replace Kiffin, who departed abruptly on Tuesday night to take the head coaching vacancy at Southern California.
Tennessee interim head coach Kippy Brown is also a candidate for the permanent position.