Lubick leaves Duke for position at Oregon

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 08:37 PM

Duke’s task of replacing two of its three starting wide receivers next season grew a little more complicated on Friday.

Matt Lubick, the Blue Devils wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, resigned from Duke and flew to Oregon, where he has been offered a position on the Ducks’ staff.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Friday the move is difficult emotionally for he and Lubick, who has been on the Blue Devils' staff since February 2010.

“We are most appreciative of Matt’s contributions to our football program over the last three years,” Cutcliffe said. “He is a man of high integrity and is an outstanding football coach. We wish him the best in the next phase of his career. Matt’s a good friend and we will always think of him as a member of our Duke football family."

He said Lubick’s ties to the western U.S. — Lubick is a Montana native and Colorado State graduate who has coached in the Pac-12 at Arizona State and Oregon State — were a strong pull.  Lubick concurred that his decision to join the Oregon staff was not easy.

“Words cannot express how appreciative I am to have had the opportunity to work with the terrific people affiliated with Duke University, Duke athletics and the Duke football program over the past three years,” Lubick said. “I could not have worked alongside or associated myself with better people including Coach Cutcliffe, his family, the coaches, administrators, support staff and players. Duke athletics is a family in the truest sense of the word, and I’m blessed to have been a part of it.”

Lubick was one of three finalists for the American Football Coaches Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year award for 2012. A big reason is the production his receivers turned in for Duke, which reached a bowl game for the first time since 1994.

Senior Conner Vernon caught 85 passes for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns. Sophomore Jamison Crowder, in his first season as a starter, caught 76 passes for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns.

Vernon was named first-team All-ACC after setting six league records in his career, including most yards and most catches in league history. Crowder was named honorable mention All-ACC.

Senior Desmond Scott, who switched to wide receiver after playing running back his first three seasons, caught 66 passes for 666 yards and two touchdowns.

“Duke has made me a better coach, and more importantly, a better person,” Lubick said. “I’ll forever be appreciative of the players and their unrelenting commitment and dedication to the program, and I wish each of them nothing but continued success going forward.”

With one week left in the open recruiting period and signing day set for Feb. 6, Cutcliffe said he doesn’t feel rushed to replace Lubick.

“I’m going to move relatively slow here,” Cutcliffe said. “There are always avenues. I’m going to exhaust them all.”

Lubick was Cutcliffe’s second wide receivers coach at Duke. In Cutcliffe’s first two seasons with the Blue Devils, Scottie Montgomery coached receivers. He left after the 2009 season to join the Pittsburgh Steelers’ staff in the NFL.

Lubick said Cutcliffe and Duke have plenty to offer to his replacement.

“Duke University has a tremendous reputation nationwide, but until you are a part of it, it is difficult to understand just how exceptional of a place it really is,” Lubick said. “Simply put, the people at Duke are what makes the institution so special; they are incredible.”