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NC State hires former Duke assistant Kurt Roper as the new quarterbacks coach

Colorado interim head coach Kurt Roper gestures during the first half of his team’s NCAA college football game against California in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.
Colorado interim head coach Kurt Roper gestures during the first half of his team’s NCAA college football game against California in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. AP

N.C. State will turn to a familiar name to help break in a new quarterback in 2019.

Coach Dave Doeren hired Kurt Roper to be the Wolfpack’s quarterbacks coach on Monday. Roper was an assistant for David Cutcliffe at Duke for six seasons from 2008 through 2013.

He also has worked at Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi and Colorado.

“My family and I are thrilled about coming to N.C. State as a part of coach Doeren’s staff,” Roper said in a statement released by the school. “Working for a great coach at a great university with an unbelievable fan base is a great opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

Roper replaces Eli Drinkwitz, who was hired to be Appalachian State’s head coach last week. Drinkwitz was the Wolfpack quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the past three years.

Des Kitchings and George McDonald will be N.C. State’s co-coordinators next season. Roper will have to help develop a new starting quarterback.

Sixth-year senior Ryan Finley has been the starter the past three years. He graduated and transferred over from Boise State before the 2016 season.

Finley led the ACC in passing yards and tied for the league lead in touchdowns and made first-team All-ACC this season.

Redshirt freshman Matt McKay and freshman Devin Leary are expected to compete for the starting job in 2019. Bailey Hockman, a junior-college transfer via Florida State, is expected to join in the program in January.

Also expected to be in the mix is Ty Evans, a three-star recruit from Colorado. Evans had originally committed to play for Colorado, where Roper was the quarterbacks coach this past season.

The Buffaloes, 5-7 this season, fired coach Mike MacIntyre on Nov. 18. Evans changed his mind and committed to N.C. State on Dec. 10.

Roper had his best success with Cutcliffe at both Ole Miss and then Duke. Roper was star quarterback Eli Manning’s position coach with the Rebels in 2003. Manning was the SEC player of the year in ‘03 and the No. 1 pick in the subsequent NFL draft. He has helped the New York Giants win the Super Bowl twice in his 15-year NFL career.

He helped tutor Thad Lewis, Duke’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns and NFL veteran, and in his last season at Duke, the Blue Devils won a school-record 10 games and the Coastal Division title in 2013.

“I’m excited to add a tremendous coach and person with great experience to our offensive staff,” Doeren said in a statement released by the N.C. State. “Kurt is an incredible teacher and a true developer of players at the QB position. He’s also a connected and highly respected recruiter who knows this region well.”

Roper is the second former Duke coach to join Doeren’s staff in as many years. Former Duke head coach Ted Roof is one of N.C. State’s defensive coordinators

 

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