David Cutcliffe adds Chris Hampton to Duke football staff

Durham, NC  Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe announced Friday the addition of Chris Hampton, who joins the Blue Devil program as an assistant coach and will mentor the cornerbacks.

Duke assistant coach Chris Hampton.

Hampton, a former collegiate defensive back in the Southeastern Conference, brings nine years of coaching experience to Durham. He also was honored with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) 35 Under 35 Award following the 2018 season.

“We are excited for Coach Hampton to join us here at Duke,” Cutcliffe said. “His experience both as a student-athlete and coach will pay immediate dividends within our program. Coach Hampton has earned the respect of many coaches and administrators within the coaching industry and I’m confident he will make a smooth transition into our defensive staff room.”

Hampton comes to Duke after four years at Tulane as the defensive backs/secondary coach. During two of his four seasons in New Orleans, Hampton helped guide the Green Wave to consecutive bowl game victories in the 2018 AutoNation Cure Bowl (41-24) and 2019 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (30-13), marking just the third time over the last 17 years in which Tulane reached postseason action.

“I’m both honored and excited to be joining the Duke football family,” Hampton said. “I’m extremely thankful that Coach Cutcliffe has given me this opportunity and I’m looking forward to learning under him. I can’t wait to get to work with our current players as well start recruiting future Blue Devils.”

In 2019, Hampton guided a defensive backs unit that ranked fifth in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in pass defense efficiency (123.4). The Green Wave finished third in the league in interceptions (12) as sophomore safety Larry Brooks posted a team-best four picks. Tulane registered 51 pass breakups and 23 quarterback pressures, while safeties Chase Kuerschen (76) and P.J. Hall (68) led the team in tackles. Those two combined to record 144 tackles, four interceptions, 11 pass breakups, 6.0 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles.

During the 2018 campaign, Hampton helped mentor one of the AAC’s top pass defenses as Tulane paced the nation in passes broken up with 74. The unit also led the league and ranked second nationally in total passes defended with 88. In the Green Wave’s matchup with East Carolina on November 10, Tulane carded an NCAA single-game record 20 pass breakups. 

Under Hampton’s guidance, cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. and Roderic Teamer Jr. both received second-team All-AAC honors in 2018. In April, both Lewis and Teamer Jr. entered professional football as the Cleveland Browns selected Lewis in the seventh round of the NFL Draft while Teamer inked a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Rams.  

In Hampton’s first two seasons, he coached a cornerbacks unit that was among the top in the AAC. In 2017, that unit limited opponents to just 225.7 yards per game through the air, which ranked fourth in the conference. Tulane’s secondary accounted for nine interceptions with Parry Nickerson, a 2017 First Team All-American Athletic Conference selection, leading the way with six. Nickerson also received Second Team All-AAC honors following the 2016 season.  

Prior to Tulane, Hampton spent four years as the defensive backs coach at McNeese State.

Following the 2015 season, three Cowboy defensive backs earned All-Southland Conference honors, including Defensive Player of the Year and First Team all-league selection Wallace Scott. In addition to conference honors, Scott was named to the AFCA’s FCS All-America Team, while earning Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Louisiana honors from the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association.

In 2014, Hampton helped coach free safety Aaron Sam to First Team All-Southland Conference honors as well as fellow safety Brent Spikes, who led the team in both tackles and interceptions. Spikes set new McNeese, Southland Conference and Louisiana single-game records with 148 interception return yards on three picks at Incarnate Word on October 25. Those three interceptions tied a school single-game record as well. 

In 2013, he mentored Guy Morgan to First Team All-Southland Conference honors as well as Third Team All-America accolades from The Sports Network.

Hampton began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arkansas State in 2008 and followed that up with two seasons as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech (2009-10). He then spent one season as the safeties coach at Central Arkansas (2011) before joining the McNeese State staff.

Hampton, a Memphis, Tenn., native played collegiate football at South Carolina where he was a four-year letter winner and a two-year starter at safety for the Gamecocks (2004-07). He also earned the team’s Harold White Award, an honor given annually to the player with the highest grade point average.  Hampton graduated from South Carolina in 2007 with a degree in Criminology.