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Coach Cutcliffe hired by Tenn

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Guest SirJohn

DD had it first. Will this mean Clausen?


Cutcliffe Rejoins Vols' Staff As Offensive Coordinator

by special report to The Chattanoogan

posted November 28, 2005



Photo by UT

David Cutcliffe

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer announced Monday that David Cutcliffe has rejoined the staff as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.


Cutcliffe, 51, was a member of UT's staff for 17 years, including six years as offensive coordinator, before leaving after the 1998 season to become head coach at Mississippi.


"I'm very pleased to have David back at Tennessee," Fulmer said. "He is a great football coach, person, leader and teacher. Our long relationship professionally and personally always has been a positive influence for me. He will challenge our thinking, be creative with our offense and very demanding as a coordinator."




Cutcliffe compiled a 44-29 won-lost record with the Rebels from 1999-2004 and coached Ole Miss to four bowl victories against only one loss. He was the only Rebels coach in history to win at least seven games in each of his first five seasons before being named assistant head coach (offense)/quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame in January.


Cutcliffe reluctantly resigned that position with the Fighting Irish in June after undergoing triple bypass heart surgery in March.


"I want to thank athletics director Mike Hamilton and Phillip Fulmer for this opportunity," Cutcliffe said. "Four months ago when I was looking at my future, I was totally focused. I said that if I got back into coaching and was able to reach that level of health again, I made the statement to my wife that it only would be as a head coach.


"I never saw this opportunity presenting itself. But when it did, that certainly made me reconsider things. I love the University of Tennessee. I'm very familiar with the program and the people involved with the program. I just looked at it as a wonderful opportunity and I'm looking forward to being a part of the Tennessee football family."


Under Cutcliffe's tutelage as offensive coordinator from 1993-98, Tennessee twice led the Southeastern Conference in total offense and three times was the league's rushing leader. The Vols finished no worse than fifth in scoring offense, including leading the SEC in 1993 and placing second nationally with an average of 42.8 points per game.


The Vols were 63-11 during that span with three SEC Eastern Division crowns, two league championships and the 1998 national title. Cutcliffe received the Frank Broyles Award in 1998 as the nation's top assistant coach and was a finalist for the honor in 1997.


Coaching awards continued Cutcliffe's way during his Ole Miss tenure. He was selected SEC Coach of the Year in 2003 by his fellow league coaches and shared the Associated Press honor while leading the Rebels to a share of the SEC Western Division crown.


"I'm excited about having David Cutcliffe rejoin the Tennessee family," Hamilton said. "David understands the expectations of our program and will represent our university in a first-class manor."


Born Sept. 16, 1954, in Birmingham, Ala., David Nelson Cutcliffe attended the University of Alabama and received his bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation in 1976.


He returned to his alma mater, Banks (Ala.) High School, as an assistant coach for four years before being named head coach in 1980. His teams reached the Alabama state playoffs three times as an assistant and in both his seasons as a head coach.


Cutcliffe's workload at Tennessee, his first collegiate coaching position, documented the trust placed in him by Fulmer. Cutcliffe served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, filling all three positions capably and enthusiastically.


In the latter position of quarterbacks coach, Cutcliffe supervised the development of future NFL first-round draft picks Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning as they rewrote the Tennessee records book. Before them, Cutcliffe mentored Andy Kelly, who has gone on to a long and noteworthy career in arena football.


All told, Cutcliffe has coached eight players who became first-round NFL draft picks, including Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning and running back Deuce McAllister. The Manning brothers both were overall No. 1 draft picks.


Cutcliffe is married to the former Karen Oran of Harriman and they have three children - Chris (2/6/1987), Katie (4/12/1989) and Emily (8/8/2000).



Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton said Monday that David Cutcliffe has signed a two-year contract, with a base salary of $275,000 and $25,000 for media and apparel.


(E-mail Stan Crawley at

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