Florida hires Duke's Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator

Florida hires Duke's Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator

Florida has hired Duke’s Kurt Roper to replace Brent Pease as offensive coordinator.

Florida Gators head football coach Will Muschamp has hired Duke assistant head coach Kurt Roper as the Gators' offensive coordinator. (Photo: Bob Donnan, AP)Roper interviewed with Gators head coach Will Muschamp on Monday, and word of the hire leaked Tuesday afternoon.

He will remain on the Blue Devils staff for the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Texas A&M on Dec. 31.

A longtime protege of David Cutcliffe, Roper got his start in coaching at Tennessee, where he served as a graduate assistant from 1996-98. He followed Cutcliffe to Ole Miss and spent six years in Oxford as the Rebels went 44-29 with four bowl game victories.

In 2005, Roper coached the quarterbacks at Kentucky under Rich Brooks, followed by a second stint at Tennessee, as running backs coach in 2006-07. The former Rice defensive back followed Cutcliffe to Duke in 2008 and has been with him there since.

Roper has garnered a strong reputation for developing quarterbacks, including, along with Cutcliffe, mentoring Eli Manning at Ole Miss, Thaddeus Lewis, who was a two-time All-ACC selection, and Sean Renfree, a seventh-round NFL Draft choice last year.

Roper takes over from Pease, who was fired during the fallout of the program’s worst regular season finish (4-8) since 1979.

The Gators offense was riddled by injuries, and finished last in the SEC in total offense and scoring, and No. 110 nationally averaging a 4.79 yards per play.

Photo: Bob Donnan, AP

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