The buzz around Duke football is present for the first time since the last bowl season in 1994. Roof has been given the financial backing of the university to hire top-notch assistants, and the Yoh building gives him a valuable asset in recruiting talent to Durham. His head coaching resume is only five games long, but the direction he is taking the program so far has been very positive.
Offensive assistants: New offensive coordinator Marty Galbreath is a 30-year coaching veteran with a long track record of success. His coaching stints include stops in the NFL, along with positions at NC State and Marshall among others. His innovative mind should reignite a stagnant Duke attack that has not averaged 20 points per game in any season since 1998. Quartebacks coach Tom Knotts returns to his alma mater after many successful seasons in the high school ranks. He has a great reputation for developing college-ready quarterbacks, including current college QBs C.J and Chris Leak, and 2005 Georgia recruit Joe Cox.
Wide receivers coach David Kelly is a great teacher that should help to get more out of this unit. He is also known as a top-notch recruiter in coaching circles, who like Roof has strong ties to the state of Georgia (a talent goldmine). Offensive line coach Don Yanowski is in his second year on the Duke staff. His work on special teams last season earned him a spot on the new staff. He is a great motivator and good teacher of fundamentals.
Running backs coach Fred Chatham has been at Duke since the late 80's. He coached a pair of all-ACC running backs last season in Chris Douglas and Alex Wade. This year, he will try and do the same with the new guys.
Defensive assistants: While Roof is a defensive guy, he will be turning the keys to the defense over the co-defensive coordinators Jerry Azzinaro and Scott Brown. Brown is a holdover defensive line coach from last year's staff and probably was the most successful position coach during the Franks era. Each of the last two seasons, Duke has had a first-team all-ACC defensive lineman (Shawn Johnson-2002, Matt Zielenski-2003). Brown will try and keep the streak alive in 2004.
Another holdover assistant, linebackers coach Brad Sherrod, is in his 8th season on the Duke staff. Linebackers have been the strength of the Duke defense for some time now, and Sherrod deserves some of the credit for this. Defensive backs and recruiting coordinator Glenn Spencer was a fellow coach with Roof under George O'Leary at Georgia Tech. He comes with a reputation as good teacher and a great recruiter. Many Jacket fans speak highly of Spencer.
Bottom Line: Roof was given the money and authority to hire the people he wanted, and that is where he has done his best work. All of the assistant coaches have track records of being good teachers and/or great recruiters. The resumes are outstanding, and Duke fans should expect a very well-coached team to take the field in 2004.