“We are certainly so proud for Kurt with this recognition – it is truly deserved,” said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, who won the Broyles Award in 1998 while a member of the staff at Tennessee. “I know what the award stands for and without a doubt Kurt Roper has earned the opportunity to stand next to the finest assistant coaches in America. What he has done, over the past 10 months, with our quarterbacks is incredible. We lost a three-year starter in Sean Renfree to the NFL Draft and then, to lose the projected backup in spring ball could have been so devastating to our team. But Kurt persevered, and put his heart and soul into his work and it is not an accident that we’re 10-2 and playing in the ACC Championship this weekend.”
Roper has helped the Blue Devils to a school-record 10 wins along with the ACC’s Coastal Division championship. Duke’s offense is one of just four in the ACC to compile 20-plus rushing touchdowns and 20-plus passing scores, doing so for the first time in school history. In addition, the Blue Devils have generated four game-winning, fourth quarter scoring drives this season including last week’s effort in the 27-25 win over North Carolina.
In 2013, Duke’s balanced offense has generated an average of 33.7 points per game. Quarterback Anthony Boone, who boasts a perfect 10-0 career record as a starter, has logged three of the school’s top 10 single-game performances for pass completion percentage while throwing for 1,695 yards and 10 touchdowns. Backup quarterback Brandon Connette, already the school’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 30, has thrown for 1,210 yards this year with 13 touchdowns while rushing for an additional 13 scores. Still with two games remaining, Connette has already matched the school’s single-season record for total touchdown responsibility (26).
Duke wideout Jamison Crowder was a first team All-ACC selection in 2013 after setting the school’s single-season record for catches with 88. In the run game, Duke has five running backs averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry.
“Coach Roper has all of the quarterbacks prepared so well each week,” said Boone. “We’ve got the utmost confidence in each other – no matter who is in the game. He has preached selflessness to us since the day we arrived, and we’ve taken that to heart. We don’t care who gets the call or the recognition – we just want to win football games on Saturdays.”
Roper is joined by Rhett Lashlee (Offensive Coordinator, Auburn), Philip Montgomery (Offensive Coordinator, Baylor), Jeremy Pruitt (Defensive Coordinator, Florida State) and Pat Narduzzi (Defensive Coordinator, Michigan State) as finalists.
The 2013 Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 10 at 11:30 a.m. at the Marriot Hotel in Little Rock, Ark. The Broyles Award is presented by The Rotary Club of Little Rock. The winner of the 2012 Broyles Award was Bob Diaco from Notre Dame.
The Broyles Award honors the top assistant college football coach in America and was established in 1996 to honor legendary Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles. Coach Broyles had a track record of producing some of the most successful assistant coaches in college football history.
The Broyles Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association's official website, ncfaa.org