Duke, coach David Cutcliffe agree to contract extension

Entering his 10th season at Duke, David Cutcliffe has agreed to a contract extension through the 2020 season.
Entering his 10th season at Duke, David Cutcliffe has agreed to a contract extension through the 2020 season. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Having already led Duke to unforeseen success on the football field, David Cutcliffe is now under contract to coach the Blue Devils into the next decade.

Duke announced Monday morning that the 62-year-old Cutcliffe has received a contract extension through the 2020 season.

Since being hired at Duke in December 2007, Cutcliffe has led the Blue Devils to four bowl appearances in his first nine seasons at the school. Back in 2012, when Duke made its first bowl appearance since 1994, Duke athletic director Kevin White rewarded Cutcliffe with a contract through June 30, 2019. Another year was added to his deal, but not announced publicly, during the team’s subsequent run of four consecutive bowl appearances.

His new deal announced Monday puts him under contract with Duke through June 30, 2021.

“Simply put, Duke University is terribly honored and very proud to have one of the truly pinnacle football coaches in the country leading the Blue Devil program into the next decade,” White said in a statement on Monday. “To be sure, what Coach Cutcliffe has accomplished over nine seasons at Duke is nothing short of extraordinary! With David’s innovation, vision, passion, not to mention well-seasoned expertise, our student-athletes will continue to enjoy, both academically and athletically, the very best – actually the ‘gold standard’ – experience within the broader enterprise that is college football.”

Duke experienced a 4-8 season (and went 1-7 in the ACC) in 2016, the first season since 2011 the Blue Devils didn’t appear in a bowl game. Cutcliffe holds a 52-61 record in nine seasons. Only two other coaches have had longer tenures as Duke’s head football coach -- stadium namesake Wallace Wade (110-36-7 over 16 seasons) and Bill Murray (93-51-9) over 15 seasons.

If Cutcliffe coaches through the length of his new contract, he will be 66 years and would have coached the Blue Devils for 13 seasons.

Duke had not won a bowl game since 1961, during Murray’s tenure, before Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils beat Indiana, 44-41 in overtime, in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl at New York’s Yankee Stadium. That was the last of four consecutive bowl appearances for the Blue Devils between 2012-15.

Injuries to quarterback Thomas Sirk, running back Jela Duncan and defensive back DeVon Edwards, all senior starters, contributed to Duke fading to a losing season last year.

The Blue Devils return quarterback Daniel Jones, who emerged as a force as a redshirt freshman last season following Sirk’s injury, to lead this season’s team.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC