Cutcliffe makes a special promotion to offensive coordinator
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Cutcliffe makes a special promotion to offensive coordinator

Zac Roper matured on Blue Devils staff as special teams coordinator

Photo: Duke assistant coach Zac Roper

David Cutcliffe’s choice of Zac Roper as Duke’s new offensive coordinator demonstrated the attention he pays to special teams more than many head coaches who view it as an afterthought – a spot for a young assistant to mature or an older coach to finish his career.

Cutcliffe announced on Friday that he has promoted Roper from special teams coordinator to the OC role vacated when Scottie Montgomery left to take over as East Carolina’s head coach. Cutcliffe explained a special teams coordinator works with so many different players that he considers it head coaching training. ... 

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Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer,, and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."