Speculation about Duke head coach David Cutcliffe possibly returning to Tennessee to replace Phillip Fulmer next season was inevitable. But just more than 24 hours after Tennessee announced Fulmer would not return next season, Cutcliffe said he would not be on the sidelines of Neyland Stadium, either.
The former Tennessee offensive coordinator confirmed after his press conference that he would be the head coach at Duke in 2009.
“To put an end to any speculation, I’m at Duke. I’m staying at Duke,” Cutcliffe said Tuesday at his weekly media luncheon. “Tennessee is not even part of the thought process.”
Cutcliffe met with his players Tuesday morning and, in a brief meeting, told them the Tennessee job was a non-factor and that he was moving on from the speculation. He handled it early because he was afraid other coaches would use it against Duke in recruiting—which is exactly what he would have done if the tables were turned, Cutcliffe said.
“It’ll settle down quickly, but shoot, I’d use it too on recruiting,” he said.
More on Cutcliffe’s ruling himself out later.