The last public statement that Ben DeLuca, late of Cornell for reasons unknown, made about his future came in January when the former head coach hitched his wagon to Team USA and told Inside Lacrosse:
"My heart is still in DI coaching," DeLuca said. As for the present, "One of the silver linings of this hiatus is the quality time I'll be able to spend with my family this spring while consulting, speaking and preparing for the next coaching opportunity."
That next coaching opportunity that DeLuca was preparing for has come sooner rather than later. As Terry Foy reports at Inside Lacrosse, DeLuca is heading to Durham to help John Danowski chase a third national title for Duke's program:
Former Cornell coach Ben DeLuca will be Duke's volunteer assistant for the 2014 season, coach John Danowski told Inside Lacrosse Wednesday morning.
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"Like in life in general, you want to surround yourself with excellent people because they’re fun to be around, they bring a whole new perspective and you’re going to learn from them," Danowski said of adding DeLuca to the staff. "Selfishly, this is a great opportunity for our coaching staff to grow and be better, nevermind our players. And for our players, this is a great opportunity to get a good hands-on teacher who’s a good person."
With Danowski the Elder, Danowski the Younger, Ron Caputo, and now Ben DeLuca, the Devils have assembled an elite and deep coaching staff. If Duke doesn't reach its potential this season it won't be due to a lack of coaching ability. This is as complete a staff as a program can put together; as long as John Danowski can fit each piece into their proper role (and there's no reason to believe that he can't), Duke should have an advantage on the sideline in almost all of its games (if not all of them). This is a pretty big departure from 2013, when the Devils were breaking in fresh coaches in Matt Danowski and Joe Cinosky.