Kurt Roper to take Offensive Coordinator job at Florida

Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper was hired as the offensive coordinator at Florida, the team announced Thursday. Roper will coach his final game with the Blue Devils at the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Texas A&M Dec. 31.

"I'm excited to have Coach Roper join our staff," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said in a press release. "He has a diverse, up-tempo background on offense and does a good job of adapting to what the players do best. The most important thing though is he has always remained balanced."

Roper has served as the Blue Devils' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2008. He led the Duke offense to set a single-season school record for points scored this season with 411 through 13 games. The Blue Devils won the ACC's Coastal Division and made their first ACC championship game appearance in program history.

After a disappointing 4-8 season, Florida fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease. The Gators were riddled with injuries at the quarterback position, going through three signal-callers during the 2012 campaign. Florida ranked dead last in the SEC in both scoring and total offense this season, managing just 18.8 points per game.

Roper has spent the better part of his coaching career under the tutelage of Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe. The pair coached together at Tennessee and Ole Miss before coming to Duke together in 2008.

With the hiring of Scottie Montgomery last spring, the 2013 season marked the first time at Duke that Roper had shared his offensive coordinator responsibilities. Montgomery coached the wide receivers this season and would be expected to step into a larger role should Roper depart.

Roper's hiring at Florida would mean a return to the SEC. In addition to coaching the Volunteers and Rebels, Roper served as the quarterbacks coach at Kentucky in 2005 as Cutcliffe recovered from heart surgery.

"He has had success calling plays in the SEC and has tutored three NFL quarterbacks," Muschamp said of Roper. "He has had players produce at every offensive position and he is one of the most well-respected coaches in the country."

Cutcliffe is no stranger to replacing assistants that depart for bigger positions amid his team's recent success. Following the 2012 season, Cutcliffe had to fill the voids left by wide receivers coach Matt Lubick's departure for Oregon and tight end coach Ron Middleton's hiring by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Montgomery replaced Lubick, and Middleton was replaced by Roper's younger brother, Zac.

This article was last updated at 10:23 a.m.


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