Recapping The 1st Annual Duke Football Summit

On Saturday the Duke Football family had nearly 200 representatives descend on the Washington Duke Inn for what will be known as the First Annual Duke Football Summit. TheDevilsDen.com earned an invite and was on hand for the full eight hour event.

"I think it was truly a great day for Duke Football," head coach Ted Roof told TDD. "I think you saw the beginning of a process that will further incorporate our alumni and strengthen the ties of the Duke family."

Roof, who spend nearly two and a half hours presenting and answering questions from the delegation of former players. Though there were some patches of impassioned talk from the audiences, Roof believed the overall experience was positive.

"There was certainly a lot of energy and passion displayed throughout the day. I think it's clear that everyone in attendance wants the best for Duke football. We had a lot of different backgrounds and eras represented. Players from as far back as the 1940s were there, up until guys who had just recently graduated. We had guests from as far away as the state of Washington - so you can tell that people were very serious about a program they love."

The Summit began on Friday night with a reception and open house at the Yoh Football Center. Saturday began with a breakfast at 7:30 before Athletic Director Joe Alleva took the microphone at 8:30 to welcome the players back to Duke.

"We are all very passionate about the regeneration of Duke Football," Alleva told the crowd. "The idea of this meeting came after a small group of players met up for the game against Vanderbilt, and we're thrilled to have you all here. Welcome Back."

Following Alleva's comments came a presentation on Academics and Admissions, followed by a review of the cost of maintaining a BCS conference football program. Soon after, the congregation took a brief rest before Coach Roof took the mic and presented his vision for the Duke football program as well as a status report for where the program has been and where it is now.

"We have made some positive improvement, but no one is satisfied where we are right now. So we're going to roll up our sleeves and go to work to turn that progress into wins and losses," Roof told the crowd.

Before he took the podium for a Q&A session, Roof stepped down to allow President Dick Broadhead a chance to offer his opinions on where the program is and where it's going. Broadhead drew a big round of applause when he told the crowd: "Do I believe in Duke Football? Yes. Am I dedicated to Duke football? You Bet. I'm also behind Ted 100%. He's a good person and he's undertaking a tremendous job."

Following the President's comments, it was time for lunch. As the former players filed out they were joined by 35 of the current Blue Devils - something Roof felt was the highlight of the day.

"I really thought that was the lasting memory of the day. It was a way to bridge the gap between the different generations. It gave our players a chance to meet and talk with guys who have been there. Who have done it at the same place they are now."

Upon returning from lunch, Roof answered a number of questions covering topics from play calling philosophy to recruiting to staff appointments. Following that, it was time for Alleva to return to the microphone for a final comments and questions session.

After a slew of former players recounted their experience, offered opinions, and posed questions - former fullback Alex Wade gave a stirring speech to the crowd expressing his love of the program, his desire to see it succeed, and his support for Roof.

"I know the guys in that locker room would lie down in traffic for Coach Roof. I know I would still," Wade told the audience. "We all want the best for Duke."

Part of that forward progress for the program going forward will include an annual football summit, something that Roof agrees will be beneficial to everyone.

"We want you to be involved with our program. We want you to be able to mentor and offer your input. With that in mind, you can consider this the First Annual Duke Football Summit."


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