Blue Devils’ Roper hired to lead offense and QB’s for Gators

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Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

DURHAM, N.C. – After days of speculation in the Triangle, University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp confirmed and announced on Thursday that Duke Blue Devils assistant head coach Kurt Roper will lead the Gators offense for the 2014 season.

Roper, who was the Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Duke in 2013, will serve as the Gators’ Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach beginning in January.

“I’m excited to have Coach Roper join our staff,” stated Muschamp via a written release from the the UF Communication office.

“He has a diverse, up-tempo background on offense and does a good job of adapting to what the players do best. The most important thing though, is he has always remained balanced. He has had success calling plays in the SEC and has tutored three NFL quarterbacks. He has had players produce at every offensive position and he is one of the most well-respected coaches in the country.”

An 18-year coaching veteran, Roper spent six seasons as the offensive coordinator at Duke and has 14 years of experience coaching the quarterback position, including working with NFL quarterbacks Eli Manning (N.Y. Giants), Sean Renfree (Atlanta Falcons) and Thaddeus Lewis (Buffalo Bills).

Roper has guided three quarterbacks to 3,000-yard passing seasons (five total 3,000-yard seasons).

In his six seasons at Duke, he has had four 1,000-yard receivers and three 3,000-yard passers.

A vital piece of Duke’s 2013 record-setting season, Roper has helped lead the Blue Devils to a school-record 10 wins and the ACC’s Coastal Division title.

The Blue Devils set school records for total touchdowns (54) while becoming the first team in school history to rush for 20+ and pass for 20+ touchdowns.

Quarterbacks Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette combined for 3,045 passing yards and 23 touchdowns this season, while first team All-ACC wide receiver Jamison Crowder set school records with 96 catches for 1,197 yards with seven touchdowns.

A pair of Duke running backs each rushed for over 500 yards while Connette became the school’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (30 in his career).

Roper was a finalist this past year for the prestigious Broyles Award, recognizing the nation’s top assistant coach.

He is currently in Atlanta with the 22nd-ranked Blue Devils (10-3) preparing to face the 20th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (8-4) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve.