The guest of today’s episode is David Cutcliffe. Coach Cutcliffe is currently the head coach of Duke University, and beginning his 12th season with the Blue Devils. Prior to Duke, Coach Cut started his career at Banks HS in Alabama before moving on to Tennessee, and Ole Miss. Known as the ultimate QB coach, Cutcliffe has coached some of the best such as Peyton and Eli Manning, Heath Shuler, Todd Helton, Tee Martin, and most recently, Daniel Jones.
Coach Cutcliffe is the definition of a gentleman. I recall the first time he and I met….it was during Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco where I was lucky enough to be a guest of my sister’s and experience the weekend hosted by Gatorade. Coach Cutcliffe of course was there with the Manning family and all of his various connections, not to mention the Broncos were playing the Panthers where Peyton walked off the field a Super Bowl Champ. I instantly took on to coach and having played at Duke for one year, we had a common interest….Duke Football. His mannerisms, the way he treated my sister, my wife and I, and of course his wisdom when telling stories or having a general conversation were second to none, and I instantly wanted to be around him as often as possible. His attitude and personality is infectious, I can’t imagine how great it must be to play for him.
I was lucky enough to be able to record the podcast with Coach Cut inside his Duke office. It was neat, he has an almost what I’ll refer to as a boardroom, off of one side over looking Wallace Wade Stadium. I was sitting where men like Peyton, Eli, and Archie Manning sit. David Gettleman, Pat Shurmur, Phil Fulmer, to name a few….pretty powerful. But what struck me the most about Coach wasn’t the Mannings, not the fact he won a national championship at Tennessee, or that he’s arguably one of the best college coaches in the country. It was that he treated me like one of his own players. He valued what I had to say and listened to every word. He cared, he was present, he came prepared for the podcast. And to me, that shows you just what kind of person he is.
As I mentioned, I played at Duke from 05’-06’ and had not been back since. It’s been said that Coach Cutcliffe is just as good off the field as he is on the field. Meaning fundraising, recruiting, academic development and his community outreach is top notch. Those talents of his are definitely on display when you visit Duke University and the Yoh Football Center. Wallace Wade Stadium has been renovated, Yoh is polished and enhanced throughout, and the indoor facility behind the stadium is great. Cool story – the indoor @ Duke is where Peyton Manning came to rehab with Coach Cutcliffe when he came back from his injury. NFL scouts and coaches came to Duke to see Peyton in person to analyze how he had been progressing and to witness his workouts with Coach. Overall, the whole day was a first class experience for me and I hope to continue to visit regularly with Coach Cutcliffe and his impressive staff.
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