|Position:||Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator [Offense]/Tight Ends|
|Alma Mater:||Duke '11|
Former Blue Devil safety Jeff Faris joined the Duke staff in July of 2012 and coaches the tight ends while serving as the Recruiting Coordinator for the Blue Devil offense. Faris served as a graduate assistant coach for the 2012 and 2013 seasons before being promoted to assistant coach in March of 2014. He coached Duke’s wide receivers from 2014-17 prior to transitioning to the tight ends while adding recruiting coordinator duties following the 2017 season.
At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Faris was tabbed the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FBS Assistant Coach of the Year. The AFCA selected one assistant coach from each of the five divisions of college football for his dedication to his teams and communities. Each year, staff representatives from NCAA and NAIA football-playing schools are asked to nominate an assistant for consideration. From those nominations, the winners are selected by the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year Committee. The honorees are assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.
The 2018 season was Faris’ first with the tight ends and he helped Daniel Helm and Davis Koppenhaver finish their Duke careers on high notes. Helm earned third team All-ACC and Google Cloud Academic All-District III first team honors and Koppenhaver set the Duke record for career touchdown receptions by a tight end. Helm went on to represent the Blue Devils at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. Koppenhaver also inked a free agent deal, signing with the Green Bay Packers.
Helm, who recorded the game-winning touchdown versus Miami on a two-yard catch from Quentin Harris to help Duke capture its first win at Miami since 1976, joined Boston College’s Tommy Sweeney as the lone ACC tight ends to have registered 20 or more pass receptions, 200 or more receiving yards and two or more TD catches in 2016-17-18.
Koppenhaver caught seven touchdown passes in 2018, tying the Duke single-season record for receiving scores by a tight end. He also joined wide receiver T.J. Rahming (8) and wide receiver Johnathan Lloyd (5) in forming the first trio in program history to each have five or more receiving scores in a season. Koppenhaver caught his 11th career touchdown pass versus North Carolina, surpassing Stan Crisson (1961-63) for the most in a career by a Duke tight end.
In 2017, Rahming earned honorable mention All-ACC honors after leading the Blue Devils in both pass receptions (65) and receiving yards (795). The Powder Springs, Ga., native topped the 40-catch and 500-yard plateaus for the third consecutive season and became just the 10th player in Duke history to reach 2,000 receiving yards in a career. Duke’s two other starting wideouts — Johnathan Lloyd and Chris Taylor — contributed 39 and 25 receptions, respectively.
The emergence of Rahming and Lloyd highlighted the 2016 season for Faris’ unit as Rahming topped the team in receptions (70) and yards (742) while Lloyd was second in catches (34) and fourth in yards (301). Lloyd also tied for the squad lead in touchdown receptions with three. Redshirt senior Anthony Nash was a key contributor for the Blue Devils during the first seven games of the year before suffering a broken collar bone that ended his career. Nash, who signed an NFL free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, finished with 29 catches for 398 yards and two touchdowns, both at Notre Dame, helping Duke to a 38-35 victory.
The 2015 season featured Max McCaffrey as Duke’s top receiving target as the senior wideout caught 52 passes for 643 yards and five touchdowns – all team highs for the season. McCaffrey, who signed an NFL free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers, finished his career with 117 receptions for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rookie Rahming and redshirt junior Nash complemented McCaffrey by catching 43 and 32 passes, respectively. Rahming flourished on Duke’s trip to Charlottesville, Va., by setting school freshman single-game records for pass receptions (12) and receiving yardage (190) against the Cavaliers. Nash enjoyed his best season in Durham by averaging a team-high 14.8 yards per reception and posting a pair of 100-yard games against Pittsburgh (101) and Virginia (104) in consecutive weeks.
In 2014, Faris guided senior Jamison Crowder to a record-breaking finish to the Monroe, N.C., native’s career. Crowder ended his career with 283 receptions to match the Duke and ACC career records previously set by former teammate Conner Vernon. Crowder’s 3,641 receiving yards marked the second most by a Blue Devil and rank third in ACC history, behind only Vernon (3,749) and Florida State’s Rashad Greene (3,830). In addition, Crowder joined Duke’s Clarkston Hines (1987-89) as the only ACC players with three 1,000-yard seasons and finished as the only player in ACC history to catch 100 or more passes in a season (108 receptions in 2013).
Crowder was a fourth round choice of the Washington Redskins in the 2015 NFL Draft, becoming Duke’s first wide receiver selected since Hines went in the ninth round to the Buffalo Bills in 1990.
Also in 2014, wideout Issac Blakeney turned in his best year as a Blue Devil and caught 47 passes for 559 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. Blakeney agreed to terms with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers following the season.
In 2013, Faris worked alongside Scottie Montgomery with Duke’s wide receivers as the Blue Devil offense ranked among ACC leaders in scoring (5th; 32.8 ppg), total offense (4th; 426.1 ypg), rushing offense (5th; 178.0 ypg) and passing offense (6th; 248.1 ypg). On its way to the ACC Coastal Division championship, the 2013 Duke squad set a school record for total points (459) while becoming the first team in school history to post 25-plus rushing touchdowns and 25-plus passing touchdowns in the same season.
Faris graduated from Duke in 2011 with a degree in economics. In 2009, he earned the Mike Suglia Award, an honor presented annually to the sophomore member of the Duke football program who best exemplifies the academic and athletic qualities of the late Mike Suglia.
In 2011, Faris received the Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award, which is presented each season to a Duke player who displays the traits of a true teammate — character, unselfishness, compassion and pride. In the spring of 2011, Faris was honored by the ACC with a Top 6 For Service award.
Faris, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., earned a master’s degree in economics from Duke in 2012 and a master’s degree in Christian studies in 2013. He is married to the former Natalie Scarbrough of Clinton, Tenn.