The Coaching Search Winds Down

The Duke coaching search is on it's final leg of the journey according to sources close to the search committee. After interviewing a number of top coaches, the Blue Devil athletic program has apparently narrowed the list down to a few very select candidates. <I></I> offers somewhat educated opinions on what is expected to happen from here.

Just who is left on the list?

While there are likely five good candidates, sources indicate that this could come down to one of either Bobby Ross or current interim head coach Ted Roof.

Ross spent Monday interviewing with the athletic director Joe Alleva, who told the local media "He's a good coach, but we've talked to a lot of good coaches." Meanwhile Roof was on the recruiting trail looking to secure a fifth commitment under his tenure.

He interviewed on Sunday afternoon and has met with several of the coaching committee to discuss his views on recruiting, the program, and other issues. Still, at 39 there seems to be concerns over Roof's age and experience despite taking a team that seemed destined to lose out for the remainder of the season and took them to a 2-3 record and broke a 30 game ACC losing streak with a 41-17 victory over Georgia Tech, while bringing back the Victory Bell to Durham with a 30-22 win over North Carolina.

Who's the favorite:

Unless you've been able to meet and chat with or spy on the coaching committee, your guess is just about as good as anyone else's. However informed speculation seems to give Ross the inside track. As one source said "He just nailed the interview."

While nothing is set in stone it seems that anyone who knows more than the average fan believes that the next coach at Duke is more than likely going to be the former ACC, NFL head man.

If Ross is the pick, will Roof be retained?

Right now that may be the biggest question facing the search committee. Roof's agent told the media yesterday: "I'd be lying if I said Ted didn't want to be the head coach". With Roof having eyes on the prize as well, would the two be able to coexist with Roof in being groomed as the next head coach when the 67 year old Ross retires?

"That would be a good combination," said Spike Yoh, who donated $5 million to be the football building's namesake. "But either way Duke can't lose."

The most likable theory to most fans seems to be retaining Roof in such a grooming role and for Ross to hire a younger corps of assistant coaches in order to help out on the recruiting trail. However, the question remains if Roof and Ross even have a relationship that would facilitate such as situation.

If Roof leaves, where's he heading?

Many mid-major programs have Roof as one of their top candidates for the head coaching position. At 39 he's young and energetic and has proven to have a big time recruiting pipeline into Georgia, which is traditionally a hotbed of high school prepstars.

When will the announcement come?

We've heard the earliest it could be known is late Tuesday night, or Wednesday. The latest we've heard is by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

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