Earlier it was announced that Kurt Roper, who spent the 2018 season as the quarterbacks coach at Colorado, will be joining the NC State football program to serve in the same role. The news comes on the same day the Wolfpack’s former quarterback coach Eli Drinkwitz was introduced as the new Appalachian State head coach, and a little less than a week after Jay Johnson was announced as the Buffs offensive coordinator/QB coach.
The return to the Carolinas, ACC, and southeast region all serve as a homecoming of sorts. Aside from one year stints with the Cleveland Browns, and Buffaloes, Roper has spent the bulk of his coaching career (21 of his 23 years) in the SEC or ACC. He was the OC/QB coach at NC State’s in-state rival Duke for six seasons, and also called plays at Florida and South Carolina.
Roper will now be in the same conference as longtime mentor, Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. He was brought to Boulder for a single season by former CU head Coach Mike MacIntyre who worked with him at Ole Miss and Duke under Cutcliffe’s guidance. Roper’s younger brother Zac also still works as the QB coach at Duke.
In Roper, the Wolfpack get a seasoned veteran who’s enjoyed much success throughout the years. He’s served as the quarterback coach for Eli Manning, Thad Lewis, Andre Woodson and Sean Renfroe among others. He also played a big part in the recruitment of Peyton Manning to Tennessee.
Last season, he helped Buffs QB Steven Montez take a step forward. In addition to playing a big part in increasing his completion percentage by over four points, Roper gave Montez an increased level of comfort and awareness on the field, and motivation in his preparation. Montez lauded Roper for the integral impact he had in his development every opportunity he got.
Roper evidently had a impact on the team as a whole, being voted interim head coach following MacIntyre’s firing prior to the season ending loss at Cal.
Similar to the way Darrin Chiaverini and Klayton Adams got moved up to co-OC’s last season, NC State head coach Dave Doreen has promoted position coaches Des Kitchens and George McDonald to share the coordinator duties. This means that Roper will serve exclusively as a QB coach and recruiter.
Joining NC State, Roper will be united with former CU commit Ty Evans who flipped to the Wolfpack last week. Roper played a big role in Evans recruitment, first at South Carolina and then at CU, and his departure was a large factor in the flipping of his commitment.