DURHAM, N.C. – Headlined by promotions of Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri to co-defensive coordinator roles and the addition of Lanier Goethie as an assistant coach, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe announced multiple alterations to the Blue Devil football staff on Friday.
A member of the Duke staff since 2016, Albert elevates from Associate Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line to Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line. Guerrieri, who has served on the Duke staff in a variety of capacities since 2012, moves from Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/Safeties to Co-Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/Defensive Secondary. Goethie will coach Duke’s linebackers.
Additionally, Zac Roper elevates to the Baxter Family Deputy Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks from Baxter Family Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks while Derek Jones earns a promotion to Associate Head Coach/Defensive Backs from Assistant Head Coach [Defense]/Cornerbacks.
“First off, I’m really proud of how our defensive staff has handled this situation,” Cutcliffe said. “We’ve had not good, but great conversations regarding staff organization and responsibilities, and I’m proud of how unselfish Ben, Matt and Derek all have been throughout the process. All three coaches are deserving of their new roles and I’m looking forward to watching them lead our defensive unit starting with spring practice next month. And as for Zac, his impact on our program goes well beyond coordinating our offense and coaching the quarterbacks. His efforts have been and will continue to be instrumental to our overall success, both on and off the field.”
Goethie, who lettered four seasons as a linebacker at Ole Miss under Cutcliffe, joins the Blue Devil staff after spending the last two seasons at Louisiana Tech. With the Bulldogs, he coached the linebackers and helped Louisiana Tech to a two-year ledger of 16-11, an appearance in the 2016 Conference USA championship game and consecutive bowl victories over Navy (48-45 in the 2016 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl) and SMU (51-10 in the 2017 DXL Frisco Bowl).
“We are thrilled to add Lanier to our staff,” Cutcliffe said. “Obviously, we have a great deal of history with each other. As a player at Ole Miss, Lanier had a ‘coach on the field’ type impact on our football team, and I’ve really been impressed with his growth within the coaching profession. He is a young man of the highest integrity with a keen sense of accountability and I’m certain he’ll make a smooth transition into our program.”
From 2012-15, Goethie worked on the staff at Delta State (Miss.) University, coaching the linebackers while serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator. In 2014, the Statesmen posted a NCAA Division II-high 119 tackles for loss as three of Goethie’s pupils ranked among the Gulf Coast League’s top five for tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Delta State had two linebackers – Wilson Curtis and Rory Island – earn All-Gulf Coast League honors during Goethie’s tenure.
Prior to his stint at Delta State, Goethie spent the 2011 season coaching the outside linebackers while serving as the recruiting coordinator at North Greenville (S.C.) University, where he helped the Crusaders to 11 victories and the first NCAA Division II playoff berth in program history.
Goethie got his start in the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant coach at Ole Miss, working primarily with the defense during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In 2009, Ole Miss posted a 9-4 overall record including a 21-7 victory over Oklahoma State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Prior to shifting into a coaching capacity, Goethie worked as an academic counselor in Office of Student-Athlete Academic Support at Ole Miss from 2007-08.
A native of Baxley, Ga., Goethie played four seasons (1999-00-01-02) at Ole Miss, totaling 178 tackles while serving as a team captain his senior season. He helped Ole Miss to 29 wins over four years with three bowl game appearance including two victories in the Independence Bowl over Oklahoma (1999) and Nebraska (2002) and, in 2002, received the prestigious Chucky Mullins Courage Award, an honor presented annually to the defensive player who exudes excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
Goethie, who graduated from Ole Miss in 2003 with a degree in marketing and later earned a master’s degree from the institution in higher education administration, is married to the former Keonna Starks.
Duke finished the 2017 campaign with a 7-6 overall record including a 36-14 victory over Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl. The bowl game appearance marked the Blue Devils’ fifth in the last six seasons. Duke will open the 2018 season on September 1 at home against Army West Point.
Duke Coaching Staff
David Cutcliffe – Head Coach (Alabama, 1976)
Zac Roper – Baxter Family Deputy Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QB (Ole Miss, 2001)
Derek Jones – Associate Head Coach/DB (Ole Miss, 1996)
Ben Albert – Co-Defensive Coordinator/DL (Massachusetts, 1995)
Matt Guerrieri – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator [Defense]/DS (Davidson, 2011)
Jim Bridge – Assistant Coach/OL (Wittenberg, 1992)
Jeffrey Faris – Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Offense]/TE (Duke, 2011)
Re’quan Boyette – Assistant Coach/RB (Duke, 2009)
Lanier Goethie – Assistant Coach/LB (Ole Miss, 2003)
Gerad Parker – Assistant Coach/WR (Kentucky, 2003)
Kirk Benedict – Assistant Coach/Special Teams & Defense (Davidson, 2010)