In the early years of his tenure, Duke football coach David Cutcliffe came to quickly understand his place amongst the gothic stone buildings on campus.
There was really no escaping it, of course — even on recruiting trips. He would travel across the country to meet football players — say, take a trip to California — and the kids all knew about Coach K and Cameron Indoor Stadium and the NCAA titles.
They knew Duke basketball, knew the brand. Sometimes, they even understood the university’s gleaming reputation for academics. Duke football? Well, this was going to take some work.
“It’s very definitive when you say Duke,” said Cutcliffe, now in his seventh season at the private school in Durham, N.C. “You don’t even have to add a second word. So we try to take that brand and associate football with it.”