Duke extends football coach Cutcliffe’s contract to 2019

lkeeley@newsobserver.comNovember 22, 2012 

Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who announced Sunday that he would return to Durham next season, has agreed to a contract extension that runs through June 30, 2019.

Cutcliffe, 58, is 21-38 in four-plus seasons at Duke and will lead the Blue Devils to their first bowl game since 1994. If Duke beats Miami on Saturday, the Blue Devils will have seven victories, the most since 1994 and just three fewer than the combined total of the previous eight years before Cutcliffe arrived.

“This business is about people, and Karen and I could not be happier with the people we’ve associated ourselves with here at Duke,” Cutcliffe said in a release. “President Brodhead and Kevin White are the best of the best, and we are grateful for their support as we continue to build Duke’s football program. We’ve accomplished some of the goals we laid out five years ago, but are nowhere close to where we want to be.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

According to a coaching salary database complied by USA Today, Cutcliffe’s base salary this season is $1.79 million. That ranks eighth out of the 11 known base salaries for ACC coaches (there is no data for Miami’s Al Golden).

The average salary for an FBS head coach is $1.64 million.

“Without question, we have already made great discernible progress since David’s arrival,” Duke athletic director Kevin White said in a statement. “However, as we assess our future – based on prospect evaluations, ongoing recruitment activity and player development – we are extremely excited, if not euphoric! To be sure, ‘Coach Cut’ represents just a great fit at Duke. David and the staff have done an exemplary job of leading the program, while subscribing to the highest intuitional ideals, both academically and athletically.”

Sunday, Cutcliffe said he was fortunate to be at Duke.

“I love this institution, and I love the people that are here. I feel very strongly about that,” he said.

•  DE Anunike returning, too: Defensive end Kenny Anunike, who leads the team in sacks, will return for a sixth year in 2013.

“I am excited about returning and taking this rare opportunity to play another year at Duke,” Anunike said in a statement released by the school. “It is truly great to be a part of this new area of Duke Football.”

Anunike has had four surgeries on his left knee since arriving at Duke in 2008. He redshirted in 2008 and then suffered a season-ending knee injury during the fourth game of the 2011 season.

This year, Anunike has recorded 36 tackles, six tackles for loss and five sacks.

•  Renfree wins Pop Warner Award: Sean Renfree was named the recipient of the Pop Warner National College Football award, given to an alumnus of the youth football program who has made a difference on and off the field.

Renfree was chosen over three other finalists: Miami RB Mike James, Connecticut WR Nick Williams and Michigan OL Patrick Omameh.

In addition to the Pop Warner award, Renfree was named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, a member of the AFCA Good Works Team and a finalist for the Senior CLASS award.

“To have started as many games, to be as effective as he has been, as humble as he has been and accomplish so much for this university, we need to celebrate Sean Renfree,” Cutcliffe said. “I think sometimes he’s taken for granted. I don’t mean in our midst, but in our league. He’s a pretty special guy."

Keeley: 919-829-4556

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