Florida announces hire of Duke's Roper as OC

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm •  Published: December 26, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida is turning to Duke's Kurt Roper to improve the Southeastern Conference's worst offense.

Coach Will Muschamp is counting on Roper's previous success in the league and his experience with an up-tempo scheme to get it done.

Muschamp announced Roper's hire Thursday, three days after he agreed to take the job.

"He has a diverse, up-tempo background on offense and does a good job of adapting to what the players do best," Muschamp said. "The most important thing, though, is he has always remained balanced. He has had success calling plays in the SEC and has tutored three NFL quarterbacks. He has had players produce at every offensive position and he is one of the most well-respected coaches in the country."

Roper is leaving the same position at Duke. He also was an assistant head coach with the Blue Devils.

Roper spent hours interviewing for the job with Muschamp on Monday. He will remain with Duke through the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Tuesday night.

"I feel like this was the right situation for me and my family at the right time," Roper said on a conference call with reporters. "It's obviously a great university that has a great tradition, and I look forward to trying to add to that."

The Gators (4-8) are coming off their first losing season since 1979. Muschamp wants to overhaul the offense after three consecutive years ranked worse than 100th nationally in total yards. Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis less than 24 hours after the season ended.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Roper's coaching style includes "intensity, tempo and quality of repetition."

"From the minute they hit the field, it's going to be intense," Cutcliffe said. "I wouldn't call him a laid-back football coach by any stretch of the imagination. It's going to be what we call treat the ground like a hot stove. If you hit the ground, you better get up running. And you know by the time they get on the field until they get off, they're going to be moving and getting a bunch of quality reps so I would call it very intense."

An 18-year coaching veteran, Roper spent six seasons as Duke's offensive coordinator. He has 14 years of experience coaching quarterbacks, including working with NFL quarterbacks Eli Manning (N.Y. Giants), Sean Renfree (Atlanta Falcons) and Thaddeus Lewis (Buffalo Bills).

He inherits an offense that features mobile quarterback Jeff Driskel and plenty of running back depth, but also includes a woeful offensive line and few playmakers on the perimeter.



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