UF offensive coordinator search heating up
Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.
Florida coach Will Muschamp's search for a new offensive coordinator now appears to be focused on Duke offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Kurt Roper, who reportedly is meeting with Muschamp in Gainesville today.
Muschamp, Roper and UF running backs coach Brian White were spotted by one reporter coming out of the football office a little after noon and entering Muschamp's car, according to a post on Twitter.
Heading into the weekend, many were speculating that Southern Cal offensive coordinator and interim head coach Clay Helton was Muschamp's top target (although that was never confirmed by Muschamp or anyone else at UF). But after Saturday's Las Vegas Bowl, it was reported by Los Angeles media outlets Helton will remain on the USC staff.
It has not taken long for Muschamp to zero in on Roper, one of five 2013 finalists for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach.
Roper has been at Duke for the past six seasons, and his offense has put up some impressive numbers, including setting a single-season school record for points (410) in 2012.
Muschamp certainly is familiar with Roper. The two coached against each other three times when Muschamp was an assistant at LSU and Roper was on the Ole Miss staff.
Roper spent six seasons under David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss and helped develop quarterback Eli Manning
Roper also has worked with UF wide receivers coach Joker Phillips. Roper was the quarterbacks coach at Kentucky one season (2005) under Phillips, the Wildcats' offensive coordinator.
Roper spent two seasons (2006-7) as the running backs coach at Tennessee before becoming Duke's offensive coordinator in 2008.
In three of Roper's seasons with the Blue Devils, his quarterback has thrown for more than 3,000 yards.
In a victory over Miami this season, Roper's offense rushed for 359 yards.