DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Duke officials denied reports Friday the school has reached an agreement with Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe to take over as football coach.
But the Blue Devils are close to making a decision about a replacement for the fired Ted Roof, and Cutcliffe - the former Mississippi coach - appeared to be the leading candidate. The 53-year-old Cutcliffe said earlier in the day he had interviewed for the position, but denied receiving an offer.
``We all kind of have a desire to run a program - that's kind of why I got into it,'' Cutcliffe said at Tennessee's media day in advance of the Volunteers' Outback Bowl appearance. ``That really hasn't changed. I'm still fairly young ... but I just feel like there's a lot left out there to be done.''
Duke athletic director Joe Alleva has said he wants to hire an experienced head coach with an offense-minded reputation. Cutcliffe - who led Ole Miss to four bowl games and groomed Peyton Manning and Eli Manning into NFL quarterbacks - would fit that profile.
Cutcliffe was 44-29 in six seasons with the Rebels before he was fired in 2004. Duke fired Roof shortly after a 1-11 finish and a 6-45 overall mark in four-plus seasons.
Duke athletic department spokesman Art Chase confirmed shortly before 5 p.m. that Duke hasn't yet offered the job to Cutcliffe, or any other candidate. But Alleva told WRAL-TV of Raleigh the search committee would meet again Friday evening.
``My hope, my hope, is we have an offer in place tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday we have a coach,'' Alleva said.
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Associated Press Writer Beth Rucker in Knoxville, Tenn., contributed to this report.
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