If you coach the right way for long enough, with the help of a little luck, you end up at a place that embraces you and becomes a part of you while you have your head down working hard to win games, develop players (and people), and make it a better place overall.
That's precisely what has happened to David Cutcliffe at Duke.
Prior to taking the Duke job, the Blue Devils were cellar dwellers of the ACC where most fans looked forward to basketball season each year. After years with 4, 5, and then back-to-back 3 win seasons, Cutcliffe broke through with a 6-7 year and bowl trip n 2012. In 2013, Cut and his staff led the program to a 10-win season and first-place finish in the Coastal division of the ACC. The years that followed saw the Blue Devils win 9 and then 8 games, respectively. It should go without saying that he's been there for the most successful seasons Duke has ever seen.
Ask anyone that has come in contact with Cutcliffe over the years, from his time at Tennessee coordinating the offense, to his stint as the head coach at Ole Miss, and you'll get story after story about how great of a person and mentor Cut is for the team he's leading. Not only that, but he does things in his program the right way.
So when a report came out tonight that Cut had turned down interest from Tennessee and planned on finishing his coaching career at Duke, most couldn't help but smile.
ESPN's Chris Low shared a few thoughts in tweets on Cut, and they're spot on.
Here, Cut spends some time talking about that initial decision back in 2008 to take the Duke job, why he decided to drive instead of taking the plane they wanted to send for him, and the conversations he had with people on campus, including basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. It provides some great perspective one how he feels about the Duke community.
Here, in a past College GameDay feature on the program, Cut talks about how he leaned on coach K for advice, and how Krzyzewski assured him that winning "can be done here."
Those two clips helps to illustrate that Duke has become a part of the 63-year old coach Cut, and Cut has become Duke in a way. That is impossible to deny.
So often, coaches don't get an opportunity to choose where they finish their coaching career, so to see the report that he wants his to end leading the Blue Devils is special.
Here's to hoping that Cut leads the Blue Devil program to more on and off-the-field success for years and years to come and finishes his coaching career exactly how, and more importantly, when he wants to.