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WATCH: Duke’s David Cutcliffe on Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre and Kurt Roper

The longtime college football mentor grades his pupils on their respective progress from afar.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Duke Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

David Cutcliffe made a name for himself in college football by studying the habits of coaching greats that came before him, like Paul “Bear” Bryant and Johnny Majors. Duke’s head football coach now enters the 36th year of a journey that started during one of the darkest moments in his life.

As fate would have it, football became an outlet for Cutcliffe after his father, Raymond, died in a car crash when he was 15. He would play to overcome the pain and turned the knowledge he gathered on the field into a career of roaming the sidelines in the southeast region of the country.

At 63, the former national coach of the year has helped many of his assistants come up in the coaching ranks, including Colorado coaches Mike MacIntyre and Kurt Roper. Cutcliffe gave his thoughts on both of Colorado’s coaches before the start of the season at ACC Media Days.

“I think (MacIntyre’s) done a tremendous job,” Cutcliffe said about the progress CU’s coach. “He’s passionate about recruiting. He’s passionate about putting great people around him—hiring great people —developing a staff. It’s not just developing players.”

One of those players for Cutcliffe, MacIntyre, and Roper during their time at Ole Miss was Eli Manning. The New York Giants quarterback recently gave remarks on his relationship with his former position coach saying “I think coach Roper did a great job of teaching me the game of football and not just, ‘Here is a play, learn it,’ but why this play is going to be good.”

Manning went on to say, “I think his work ethic, his knowledge of football, of defenses, of an offense, of what plays work, but also his ability to coach quarterbacks and for (his quarterbacks) to have to have great knowledge of that offense so they can kind of be that offensive coordinator on the field. I think he’ll do a great job getting all those quarterbacks prepared.”

The teachings of Cutcliffe remain strongly instilled in Colorado’s coaching staff. Roper, in his first year under MacIntyre, will be working to prepare Steven Montez the same way he did with Manning and several other quarterbacks that came before him.

The Buffaloes opened fall camp on Aug. 1 with twenty-five practices before the start of 2018 season in Boulder.