Duke has the longest-tenured basketball and football coaches in the ACC, at least for one more season.
David Cutcliffe took time on the first day of fall practice to discuss coach Mike Krzyzewski as Coach K prepares for his final season on the Duke bench.
“I got to see him on Tuesday,” Cutcliffe said. “We had a little short talk. He looks great, which made me feel good. I think we all, when we saw each other last year it was such a strain you just worried about people you cared about.”
Cutcliffe then repeated a story he’s told many times about insisting on meeting with Coach K when he came to Duke to interview for the football coaching job.
“From the very beginning, on my interview, I requested to see him, because he wasn’t on my itinerary,” he said. “Thank goodness he agreed to it. They gave us 15 minutes, and we took an hour.”
“We talked a whole lot about being successful at Duke,” he said. “How much he loved Duke. He thought I’d learn to feel the same way and respect the institution. We talked about how he went about trying to build the program. As you know, I would listen very intently to what he said. No offense to the others on the interview, but what I heard from him is what I’ve carried through these 14 years. Rightfully so, I think.”
Cutcliffe has great respect for the outgoing Hall of Famer, as well as his replacement.
“He’s just a great teacher,” he said. “I hang on the words that he says. Not only myself, but everybody in Duke athletics and this institution will not realize how much you miss him until it happens. No off to Jon Scheyer. I’m excited about Jon. I love him. I’ve know him since he was a player. Duke basketball is in a good place and good hands.”