Kurt Roper begins his second season in Columbia. Roper was named the Gamecocks’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on January 4, 2016.
During his first season at South Carolina, Roper coached a pair of true freshmen signal-callers in Jake Bentley and Brandon McIlwain. the duo combined to start 10 of the 13 games, throwing for over 2,000 yards with 11 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Roper owns 20 years of experience on the collegiate level, including 14 in the SEC, and has helped his teams appear in 12 bowl games.
Roper came to Carolina after spending the 2015 season with the Cleveland Browns as senior offensive assistant coach. He joined the Browns after spending 2014 as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the University of Florida under Will Muschamp.
Prior to his year-long stint in Gainesville, Roper spent six years coaching at Duke, first as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2008-13, before spending his final season as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
In 2013, Duke enjoyed a record-setting season as the Blue Devils won a school-best 10 games en route to winning the ACC’s Coastal Division championship. The team set the school record for total touchdowns (60), while becoming the first squad in program history to post 20+ rushing and 20+ passing touchdowns in the same season. Under Roper’s guidance, quarterback Brandon Connette became the school’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns, while wide receiver Jamison Crowder established school single-season records for receptions (108) and receiving yards (1,301).
In 2012, Roper directed the Duke offense to a school single-season record 410 points and 31.5 points per game. Quarterback Sean Renfree threw for more than 3,000 yards and finished his career ranked among the ACC’s all-time leaders in several categories in passing yardage, pass completions and 300-yard passing games.
Under Roper’s guidance in 2011, the Blue Devils ranked second in the ACC in passing offense as wide receiver Connor Vernon became the first player in league history to post multiple seasons with 70+ receptions.
Roper also worked with quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, who finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns. Lewis finished as one of just two players in ACC history to throw for more than 10,000 yards. He led the ACC in total offense in 2009, while throwing for 3,330 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Prior to Duke, Roper spent two seasons (2006-07) at Tennessee, where he coached the running backs. During that span, the Vols won 19 games, earned a pair of Outback Bowl berths and captured the SEC Eastern Division championship. In 2007, Tennessee’s rushing attack was led by Arian Foster, who gained 1,193 yards on 245 carries, while scoring 12 touchdowns on the ground. Foster went on to lead the NFL in rushing yards in 2010 and rushing touchdowns in 2010 and 2012.
Prior to spending one season as the quarterbacks coach at Kentucky in 2005, Roper spent six seasons (1999-2004) coaching at Ole Miss. Roper coached the quarterbacks all six years and added the responsibility of passing game coordinator for his final three seasons. Among his pupils was record-setting, All-America signal-caller Eli Manning, the 2003 SEC Player of the Year, who was the number one overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft and won two Super Bowls.
Roper got his start in coaching at Tennessee as a graduate assistant from 1996-98, while working with the defensive and special teams’ units.
A native of Ames, Iowa, Roper was a three-year letterman as a quarterback and defensive back at Rice. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice in 1995 and a master’s degree from Tennessee in 1998.
Roper and his wife, Britt, have one daughter, Reese, and one son, Luke.
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