David Cutcliffe says he's staying at Duke

David Cutcliffe says he's staying at Duke

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6 Sports Director

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- David Cutcliffe is staying at Duke.

The former Tennessee offensive coordinator has informed his staff he will not move to Knoxville to accept the head coaching job at Tennessee. 

"After much thought and consideration, Karen and I reached the decision that Duke is the place for our family," Cutcliffe said in a statement released Friday morning. "We have both family members and lifetime friends in the Knoxville community and share a deep respect for the University of Tennessee. Our ties to the school and the Eastern Tennessee area are obvious. But before Tennessee's hiring process comes to a conclusion, I know that Duke University is where we want to coach." 

It's not clear if the job was actually offered to Cutcliffe.

He met with Duke Athletic Director Kevin White on Thursday morning, presumably to tell White he was in discussions with Tennessee about its coaching vacancy.

The same source tells WATE 6 that Cutcliffe and UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton were to have discussions on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday evening, Cutcliffe issued what appeared to be an ultimatum. He told Tennessee he needed to know his status for the Vols job by Friday, otherwise he wasn't interested. 

Cutcliffe's decision appears to put UT Athletics Director Mike Hamilton back on the trail to find a replacement for former head coach Lane Kiffin, who left after one season to take over as head coach at the University of Southern California.

Cutcliffe has been at Duke two seasons, leading the Blue Devils to a 4-8 record in 2008 and to a 5-7 record in 2009.

He has twice held the offensive coordinator position at Tennessee, leaving first in 1998 to become the head coach at Ole Miss. He was coach of the Rebels for six years and was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2003.

After being fired at Ole Miss, Cutcliffe returned to Tennessee and again served as offensive coordinator from 2006-2007.

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