[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ongtime Duke assistant Ron Middleton is headed to the NFL.
Middleton, who was Duke’s associate head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator, has accepted a position with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Middleton has spent the better part of the past 13 seasons alongside David Cutcliffe. He was on Cutcliffe’s staff at Ole Miss from 1999-2003. From 2004-06, he was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff as tight ends coach where he met new Jags coach Gus Bradley. After one year at Alabama, he rejoined Cutcliffe at Duke.
“I will forever be grateful to Coach Cutcliffe for giving me the opportunity to work at Duke University,” Middleton said. “I’m proud of what we accomplished as a staff over the last five years both on and off the field, and I know the young men in the program will continue to prosper in everything they do.
“The decision to leave Duke was extremely difficult because of the quality young men in the football program and the leadership of the institution, and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of something much bigger than myself.”
Middleton is the second recent departure from Cutcliffe’s staff.
On Jan. 28, Duke wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick was hired by Mark Helfrich at Oregon as as passing-game coordinator. Lubick’s replacement has not been announced.
The Blue Devils are coming off their most successful season in 18 years. Duke went 6-7 and played in a bowl game for the first time since 1994, losing 48-34 to Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte.