|On Sunday, David Cutcliffe said he has no plans of replacing Derek Dooley at Tennessee. (US Presswire)|
As Tennessee's coaching search begins this week, one name that might have been on their list has publicly removed himself from consideration.
Duke coach David Cutcliffe went out of his way during his Sunday media availability to assure fans on Sunday that he had no interest or intentions of returning to Knoxville to replace Derek Dooley.
"I can tell you right now that I'm going to be coaching at Duke next year," Cutcliffe said. "I'm very happy here, and this is where I'm going to be.
"I can put that to rest because that's a fact."
Cutcliffe will lead the Blue Devils this season to their first bowl berth since 1994, with a chance to guarantee a winning record if they beat Miami in the regular-season finale on Saturday.
Cutcliffe, who took over in 2008, has led the Blue Devils to 21 wins in five seasons after Duke won only 10 games during the previous eight. Before Tennessee offered the job to Dooley in 2010, Cutcliffe was one of the names in consideration for the job. With the program growing at Duke, the decision to stay appeared much easier this time around.
"We've got great people here, I'm fortunate to be here," Cutcliffe said. "I love this institution, and I love the people that are here."
Duke approved a $250 million athletics initiative in October that calls for $100 million of renovation for facilities. Wallace Wade Stadium, the home of Duke football since 1929, will be a primary piece of the project. According to the plans, the school will add nearly 10,000 seats, a new press box, luxury suites and remove the track that separates the field from the fans. The final result will be a much more intimate fan experience at the historic on-campus stadium.
Without the success that Cutcliffe has brought to Duke football, it could be argued that the school would be less likely to fund such ambitious efforts. With the volatility of SEC jobs, particularly in the current landscape, it makes sense that Cutcliffe might want to stay and see where he can take Duke football in what appears to be the final stop of his impressive coaching career.
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