After 40 years roaming the sidelines and coaching football across the country, David Cutcliffe is returning to the Southeastern Conference. It was announced on Thursday that Cutcliffe has been named Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Football Relations in the SEC.
The former Tennessee offensive coordinator and head coach at Ole Miss and Duke is stepping off the playing field and into the office. As part of his duties in his new role, Cutcliffe will “provide guidance to the SEC Commissioner’s office for the purpose of enhancing the overall quality of football competition in the SEC in areas including game management, communications, playing rules, national policies and scheduling best practices.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey also released a statement about the Cutcliffe hire.
“David Cutcliffe has earned tremendous respect across the college football community and he adds to the SEC office a valuable depth of knowledge and expertise in the game. David will add a new perspective to Conference football operations that will benefit our universities and their student-athletes as we look to the future.”
Cutcliffe’s job will be to navigate working relationships between the various head football coaches and to review and develop new football competition policies within the conference. In sum, Cutcliffe will be responsible for bridging the gap between what the coaches want and what the SEC office can do.
Cutcliffe released a statement about rejoining the conference in a different capacity.
“I am thrilled to return to the Southeastern Conference where I have spent much of my life. It is rewarding to be joining an amazing team at the SEC Office led by Commissioner Sankey and his staff. I look forward to working with the coaches and administrators across the league to continue to further advance football in the SEC.”
In his time at Ole Miss, Cutcliffe led the Rebels to their first 10-win season in over 32 years. That team also tied for the Western division title. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 2003 and had the privilege to coach Eli Manning during his time in Oxford.
In 2008, Cutcliffe was named the head coach at Duke, where he drastically turned the Blue Devils program around. He led the team to six bowl appearances and coached NFL QB Daniel Jones from 2016-2018. He was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
Cutcliffe, one of the most respected coaches in the country, should not have a problem gaining the trust of the football leaders in the SEC. This is an interesting move and one that could pay off down the road, especially whenever the conference butts heads with the NCAA.