Fulmer 'excited' for Cutcliffe

Tennessee held its second practice in full pads in as many days, but this one was different.

Saturday's workout took place amid the knowledge that offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe had accepted the head coaching position at Duke and soon will be leaving the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.

"I'm excited for him," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "He wanted to be a head coach again and we certainly knew that was a possibility when we hired him back. He will do a great job at Duke and we wish him well."

Cutcliffe, 53, returned for his second stint on the Vols coaching staff two years ago after having spent six seasons as head coach at Ole Miss, compiling a 44-29 record and four bowl victories.

The Blue Devils announced Cutcliffe as their head coach Saturday afternoon (see release below), although Cutcliffe retains his role on the UT staff through the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl game against Wisconsin.

"We'll stay pretty much status quo," Fulmer said of the assignments for Tampa. "We've got a good start on Wisconsin already and that gives us some time to thoroughly research exactly what we want to do."

Fulmer, meanwhile, said he looks forward to the challenge of replacing the leader of his offensive staff.

"We've got an opportunity in front of us now to mix it up a little bit and it's a pretty exciting time for me. I've made some calls but we're going to go through the process and get somebody that I think everyone will be really excited about.

The Vols will hold a brief walk-through Sunday and then practice four consecutive days before the holiday break begins Thursday afternoon.

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