Uncertain future for Cutcliffe, Duke after winless ACC season

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe walks off the field after the team lost an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Duke closed out its home season with an eighth straight loss in what might have been the swan song for the ACC’s longest-tenured coach.

David Cutcliffe, who took over what was the nation’s worst Power Five program in 2008 and performed a miraculous rebuild, leading Duke to an ACC Coastal Division title and six bowl games, is rumored to be retiring following a third straight losing season.

Duke’s 47-10 loss to Miami capped a winless ACC season, Duke’s first since 2007, the year before Cutcliffe arrived.

Cutcliffe refused to comment on his job status following the game.

“Right now, that’s not where my mind is,” he said. “I’m not going to go into any thoughts or details in that regard. I’ve got a job to do. That’s where my mind is. I’m not going to do a postgame press conference that’s about me.”

Duke jumped out to an early lead in the senior day game, scoring first with a field goal, then getting a Jalen Stinson kickoff return for a touchdown to pull ahead 10-3. The offense stalled after that point, however, and Miami scored the next 44 points. It’s the sixth straight game where Duke has given up at least 45 points and lost by at least 25.

“We had some moments, but moments don’t get it done,” said Cutcliffe. “When you’re not performing well on offense and defense at the same time … Both sides of the ball not performing results in a collapse, and that’s what’s occurred.”

Cutcliffe appeared to pause on the field for a few moments before heading into the tunnel after the game. However, he denied that he was savoring one last moment as head coach.

“That wasn’t what was on my mind,” he said. “What was on my mind was those young men in that locker room and what I was going to say to them.”