Ever since being announced Louisville Football Head Coach, rumors swirled about Bobby Petrino would put on his staff. Today, in a afternoon press conference, he made one of those names public.
Offensive Coordinator: Garrick McGee
McGee will not call the plays at Louisville but McGee is still a great offensive mind. McGee was a Head Coach at UAB before accepting the Offensive Coordinator position at Louisville. McGee will also assume the position of Quarterback Coach and Assistant Coach additionally at Louisville. This won’t be his first stint with Petrino. He helped Petrino at Arkansas reach the Sugar Bowl in 2011. According to FootballScoop.com, his buyout was $550,000 at UAB as was his salary there. From a public relations standpoint, McGee seemed to have a deep knowledge and understanding of Petrino’s offense and gave good answers to questions. Full contract details haven’t been released on McGee but I would expect his salary to increase at Louisville. I’ll never complain when a Head Coach leaves a program to take an assistant coaching position at Louisville.
“Me and Garrick [McGee] go way back. Anytime I’ve had an opportunity to hire him, I’ve hired him,” Petrino said. “One of the first calls I’ve made was to Garrick. I’m really excited he’s here. We have the same thoughts on the offense, so I have complete trust in him.”
“I cannot express how happy I am and how blessed I feel like I am,” Garrick McGee noted. “When Petrino called, I asked if there was a chance to win a national championship. He said yes, I said I’m interested.”
“I think I am now in position to be one of the top assistants in the Country.” – Garrick McGee
“We’re just going to set back and see who takes charge of our offense.” – Garrick McGee
“Our Head Coach is one of the best playcallers in the History of Football.” -Garrick McGee
“He’s not gonna get rid of me because I’m gonna work my tail off and my people are going to produce.” -Garrick McGee
Offensive Line Coach: Chris Klenakis
Klenakis will be leaving Iowa State to coach the Louisville Football offensive line, a position he previously held with the Cyclones. This is group that had an up-and-down season for Louisville and certainly needs sustained success in Petrino’s Pass-Happy offense. Klenakis was also the Offensive Line Coach at Arkansas. In 2012 at Arkansas, his offensive line allowed the third-fewest sacks in the SEC. Klenakis comes to Louisville as a proven veteran with over 20 years in Division I Football Experience. He made $220,000 at Iowa State and $420,000 at Arkansas.
Wide Receiver Coach: Lamar Thomas
This one should be interesting, Lamar Thomas will have big shoes to fill in place of Ron Dugans. Dugans, the previous Wide Receiver Coach at Louisville, served as one of the best recruiters under Charlie Strong. Lamar Thomas comes to Louisville to coach one of the best Wide Receiver’s cores out there. He served as Petrino’s Wide Receiver Coach for one season at Western Kentucky. He comes to Louisville as an alum of the University of Miami, where he starred for three years before heading to the NFL. There, he enjoyed two stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins for a total of seven years. To say he has Florida ties would be an understatement, it will be interesting to see how he uses them on the recruiting trail.
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Grantham
I personally think Louisville made a splash with this hire. Grantham is leaving the Defensive Coordinator position at Georgia to come to Louisville for the same position. He made a salary of 850,000 at Georgia, according to ESPN, he’ll make over 1 million yearly at Louisville for five years. Grantham, was also an associate Head Coach with the Bulldogs. After losing seven starters in 2012, Grantham’s defense had a rough year at Georgia finishing 45th in total defense. Before then, Grantham’s 3-4 base defense, finished 32nd in total defense in 2012, 5th in 2011, and 23rd in 2010. Grantham, has coached with four NFL teams and has ACC ties after coaching and being an alum of Virginia Tech. In the 2014 recruiting class, Grantham is responsible for four 4-star recruits, three of them are from Georgia. Nobody will complain if Louisville is able to extend that Florida pipeline to Georgia with this hire.
Defensive Backs Coach: Terrell Buckley
Another Coach with Florida ties. He’s leaving Akron where he coached the Defensive Backs to hold the same position at Louisville. He was praised for his development of the Akron Defensive Backs last season. He played College Football for Florida State where he starred as a Corner leading the school in All-Time interceptions. After that he played in the NFL for 11 seasons including two stints with the Miami Dolphins. Buckley, also comes to Louisville with ACC experience, after serving as a Graduate assistant on Florida State’s coaching staff.
– Clint Hurtt will be retained by Bobby Petrino where he will continue to coach the Defensive Line.
– Former Louisville Cardinals are expected to join staff. Kolby Smith coaching the runningbacks and Pete Notcha coaching the Tight Ends Coach
– Official announcement of the rest of the staff will be made throughout the week, Petrino says some ‘HR Stuff has to be cleared’.
This story will be updated.
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