Three offensive coordinators in the Coastal Division have left their respective schools over the past 10 days. Only one will coach in his team's bowl game.
New East Carolina coach Scottie Montgomery made it clear during his introductory press conference Monday that he felt he owed it to his Duke players to be there for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 26 against Indiana. So Montgomery will call the plays for the Blue Devils one final time, all while juggling his new duties as a first-time head coach.
The decision on whether departing coaches should stay with their teams for the bowl games comes down to individual decisions. Former Pitt offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, headed to Georgia, opted against going to the Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman against Navy on Dec. 28. Former North Carolina offensive coordinator Seth Littrell, now head coach at North Texas, also opted against coaching the Tar Heels in the Russell Athletic Bowl against Baylor on Dec. 29.
Yet over at Alabama, Kirby Smart will remain on staff through the playoffs despite being head coach at Georgia.
Speaking about his decision, Montgomery told reporters: "I will also try to get as much publicity for East Carolina as I can while up there. I am the head football coach at ECU. I guess I will just not sleep as much over the next two weeks. I want to work as hard as I can for my team but stay loyal to the guys I have coached over the last year. I owe it to them to finish what we started. I talk to my children all the time about leaving a place better than you found it. We are going to work our tails off to make sure everything in Greenville is the way it should be.”
Duke is now looking for its third offensive coordinator in four seasons, and that stands more as a tribute to the work coach David Cutcliffe has done in not only turning around the program but also grooming top offensive coaches.