Local News

Roof Ready To Fire Up Blue Devils

Posted October 20, 2003

— Duke interim football coach Ted Roof was hit with a firestorm of questions from reporters Monday about possible changes he'll make for this weekend's game with North Carolina State.

Roof, now in charge of the stumbling program after Carl Franks was fired Sunday, wasn't quite ready to commit to any wholesale modifications with five games left in the season.

Duke Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Roof will be considered for the full-time job, along with other candidates, once the season is over.

Roof said that doesn't put any added pressure on him or change the way he'll approach his job in the coming weeks.

"There is no magic dust in football, nothing you sprinkle on your guys and all of the sudden this happens or that happens," Roof said. "The magic dust is under our third rib. We need to play with our hearts, and we need to play with our heads. That's the magic dust, not what your schemes are."

The team's defensive coordinator takes over a 2-5 team that is riding a 29-game ACC losing streak and looking for some direction after falling behind Wake Forest 42-0 at halftime Saturday.

Roof, who worked under George O'Leary at Georgia Tech before coming to Duke two seasons ago, said he won't be nervous Saturday in his first game as a head coach.

"This is what we do," he said. "This is what we train all of our professional lives to do, and I intend to do it the best I can. Let's put the pedal down, and let's go."

Roof laughed when asked if he had ever been a head coach on any level.

"The closest I've been was the first assistant on my son's 4-year-old baseball team this summer," Roof said. "We were undefeated. We didn't keep score. I think we're going to keep score (Saturday)."

Roof sought advice from current and former head coaches over the last 24 hours, including O'Leary, Bill Curry, Barry Wilson and John Thompson.

Thompson, East Carolina's first-year head coach, and the others told Roof to be himself.

"I love to be around Ted Roof; I love to talk to Ted Roof," Thompson said. "He inspires me and picks me up every time I talk to him. He will do an absolute great job there.

"There is no doubt in my mind that those players will respond to Ted. Everything about that program will be uplifted with Ted running the show."

Duke's players agreed that Roof is a fiery personality that can motivate a team.

"He's an in-your-face kind of guy," defensive back Kenny Stanford said. "He's a great dude. You can tell he cares about us as men. We buy into what he's saying."

Stanford said he was embarrassed by Duke's performance Saturday, but didn't expected Franks to be fired a day later.

"I really didn't have a reaction when I heard," Stanford said. "It was like a cold, blank kind of feeling.

"We kind of sense it when things are going bad that they may make a change, but when it happens it's kind of confusing. It's rough when somebody loses their job."

Stanford said some players feel guilty.

"His job was to coach and our job was to play," Stanford said of Franks. "He coached us the best he could, and obviously we didn't execute. He can't play for us. We hold some responsibility for this happening."


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