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Florida hires Duke's Roper as OC

The SportsXchange

The University of Florida confirmed the hiring of Kurt Roper as its offensive coordinator.

News that the Duke offensive coordinator would join the Gators broke Tuesday, and Florida announced the move Thursday.

"I'm excited to have Coach Roper join our staff," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said in a press release. "He has a diverse, up-tempo background on offense and does a good job of adapting to what the players do best. The most important thing though, is he has always remained balanced. He has had success calling plays in the SEC and has tutored three NFL quarterbacks. He has had players produce at every offensive position and he is one of the most well-respected coaches in the country."

Roper will stay with the Blue Devils for the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Texas A&M on Dec. 31, then join the Gators. The Gainesville Sun reported that he would make $600,000 in 2014.

Roper replaces Brent Pease, who was fired after the Gators went 4-8 this year, their worst regular-season finish since 1979.

Florida's injury-riddled offense ranked last in the SEC in total offense and scoring, and it finished No. 110 nationally with a 4.79 yards per play average. The Gators suffered embarrassing losses to Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern this season.

Roper is a longtime protege of Duke coach David Cutliffe, and he gained a reputation for grooming quarterbacks, including Eli Manning. He spent 2006 and '07 as running backs coach at Tennessee, where he also was a graduate assistant from 1996-98.

He spent six seasons as the quarterbacks coach at Ole Miss, when Cutcliffe was the coach in Oxford, and he held the same position in 2005 with Kentucky.
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