Calling all applicants: Head coaching job possibility just a click away

Updated: December 12, 2007, 7:09 PM ET
Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- Maybe this is why Duke Blue Devils football team has been so perennially putrid: There's nothing in the coach's job description about winning games.

All of the details are spelled out on the university's human resources Web site, where -- right above an ad for a nursing assistant -- there's a job posting for "Head Football Coach." Just click to apply.

The listing was posted Nov. 29, three days after Ted Roof was fired, and lists several duties expected of the new coach, such as counseling players in academic and disciplinary matters, preparing budget recommendations and assigning assistants to recruit specific regions of the country. The coach also must represent Duke at civic, charity and alumni events.

Despite what athletic director Joe Alleva has said, nowhere in job requisition No. 400160742 is it mentioned that the new coach's most important task is bringing a winner to football-success-starved Duke.

The Blue Devils have won just 22 games in 13 years, including three losing streaks of 15 games or worse. Duke has three straight seasons with 10 or more defeats and has taken an undesired place as one of the worst programs in the Bowl Subdivision.

"This business is very results-oriented, and when you win four games in four years, it makes you take a hard look at what you're doing," Alleva said when Roof was fired after finishing 6-45 in four-plus seasons. "I felt that we had to make a change because of that."

Neither Alleva nor Duke human resources vice president Clint Davidson Jr. returned telephone messages left Wednesday to discuss the job listing.

Duke officials said the opening was posted to comply with university regulations that require the listing of all approved, vacant positions for at least seven days on the school's employment Web site. Citing privacy issues, they declined to say if any wannabe coaches or message board experts have applied online.

Other schools have advertised their coaching searches in similar fashion. North Carolina spokesman Steve Kirschner said his school listed its head coaching vacancy last fall when the Tar Heels fired John Bunting -- even though Butch Davis was the school's top target all along. North Carolina also is accepting applications for another big-money position through December -- a chancellor to replace James Moeser, who is retiring next June.

But North Carolina State didn't post the vacancy left by Chuck Amato's firing last year, because athletic director Lee Fowler received a waiver from the school's office for equal opportunity, said Libby Frederick, the athletic director's assistant. "It was so public, we weren't required to advertise it," Frederick said.

For the most part, Duke's coaching search has been anything but public. Alleva hasn't commented on its progress since he started looking more than two weeks ago.

Tennessee Volunteers offensive coordinator and former Mississippi Rebels coach David Cutcliffe was in Durham interviewing for the job Wednesday, a person familiar with the process told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the search's confidential nature. Cutcliffe's agent, Jimmy Sexton, declined to comment.

Two candidates Alleva has interviewed have withdrawn from consideration. Ex-Navy coach Paul Johnson opted to take over at Georgia Tech, and Bobby Johnson chose to remain at Vanderbilt.

Two others -- fired UCLA coach Karl Dorrell and Grambling State coach Rod Broadway, a former Duke assistant under Steve Spurrier -- remain in the mix, with no immediate updates Wednesday.

Alleva has said he wants to hire someone who has coached in the Bowl Subdivision, and the job listing says prior college football coaching experience is required. But even that isn't absolute. According to the listing, it's OK if the applicant has "an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press