Duke football coaching search: Top candidates to replace David Cutcliffe

David Cutcliffe came to Duke in December 2007 and took over a program at the bottom of the Power 5.

The Blue Devils had won two games in three years and just 10 in the previous eight seasons. Cutcliffe's rebuild took time, as Duke endured four straight losing seasons before breaking through in 2012. From that season until 2018, Duke was more than respectable, winning an ACC Coastal Division title in 2013, reaching six bowls and recording three seasons of eight or more wins.

The program backslid recently, though, going 5-18 the past two seasons with only one ACC victory. Cutcliffe on Sunday reached a mutual separation agreement with the school, ending a tenure in Durham that will undoubtedly be remembered more for its highs than lows. He finished 77-97 in 14 seasons at the school.

Duke now must try to recapture the magic that showed up in the middle section of Cutcliffe's tenure. The school promoted Nina King to athletic director in May, and she now will make her first major hire as AD.

There are some inherent obstacles at Duke, a basketball school with no conference titles in football since 1989 and just one since 1962. Duke is located in a good area for recruits but must find academically oriented players often passed over by more successful programs. The perennially wide-open Coastal Division is a plus for potential candidates.

Here's a look at whom Duke might consider to replace Cutcliffe, a list heavy with Power 5 coordinators.