The Duke Blue Devils capped off a successful season in 2015 by winning an amazing Pinstripe Bowl over the Indiana Hoosiers in double overtime. They are looking to build off that success to have even more in 2016.
It looks like they will have to go forward without an important piece of their coaching staff. It was reported on Tuesday that assistant head coach John Latina stepped down and retired from his position.
He has been with the Blue Devils the last four years, assisting head coach David Cutcliffe as long as being the running-game coordinator. The team announced the news in a statement.
“John Latina’s career track record speaks for itself – he’s been an integral part of so many great coaching staffs and he’s mentored some outstanding linemen,” Cutcliffe said in a statement. “The bottom line is, the head coaches John worked with – and that includes me – became better coaches and better men because of his knowledge and dedication to the coaching profession. And there are a bunch of former players out there that owe a great deal of gratitude to him as he helped so many young men become not only better players, but better sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. His impact over the past four seasons here at Duke is easily defined – 33 wins and four straight bowl games are two of the greatest accomplishments in the history of our program.”
Latina has served on multiple coaching staffs in his more than 30-year career. He has worked with Pittsburgh, Temple, Kansas State, Clemson, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and Akron before going to Duke in 2012.
The Blue Devils also announced that Marcus Johnson had been promoted to be Latina’s successor. With the team’s running game being one of the best in the ACC in 2015, they will surely miss having a piece like him on the team.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports