Update on Football Staff Changes

Andy Lyons

On Thursday, Bobby Petrino was introduced as the new head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. What you may or may not know is that the hire was made during the winter recruiting dead period (Dec. 16 through Jan. 15). "What is a dead period?" you ask. Here is a synopsis courtesy of

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

This means that until Jan. 15, no in-person visits may take place and that contact must be limited to phone calls and written correspondence. UofL's new football staff will only have three weeks of face-to-face recruiting time between the end of the dead period (Jan. 15) and National Signing Day (Feb. 5.). As such, we should expect to have a full staff in place sometime within the next five or so days. So who is believed to be joining Petrino at Louisville?


Offensive Coordinator: Garrick McGee - UAB Head coach, OC under Petrino at Arkansas.

Running Backs: Kolby Smith - former Louisville and NFL running back, RB coach under Perino at WKU

Wide Receivers: Lamar Thomas - former Miami and NFL WR, WR coach under Petrino at WKU.

Offensive Line: Chris Klenakis- Iowa State’s offensive line coach, OL coach under Petrino at Arkansas.


Defensive Coordinator: Todd Grantham - DC at UGA, former DC for the Cleveland Browns.

Defensive Line: Clint Hurtt - DL coach under Charlie Strong and will remain on staff per Petrino.

Defensive Ends: L.D. Scott - former Louisville defensive linemen, was on staff under Petrino at Arkansas and coached defensive ends at WKU, Petrino’s son-in-law.

Defensive Backs: Terrell Buckley - former Florida State and NFL cornerback, coached at FSU and Akron.


Director of Football Operations: Andy Wagner - served in same position under Petrino at WKU

According to NCAA rule 11.7.2 and, a football program is allowed a limit of one head coach, nine assistant coaches and two graduate assistant coaches. Programs are also permitted to retain a weight (strength and conditioning) coach to conduct flexibility, warm-up and physical conditioning activities prior to any game and prior to or during any practice or other organized activities. So assuming all of the above hires are correct, Petrino will only need to make a few more hires to have a complete staff.

One other thing to keep in mind is that due to the limit on the number of assistant coaches, it is likely that some members of the staff will receive additional responsibilities or be moved into different positions. For example, L.D. Scott might end up coaching the defensive line with Clint Hurtt moving to coach linebackers. Garrick McGee might end up serving as both the offensive coordinator and as the QB coach. We could end up with a dedicated special teams coach or we might assign that responsibility to a coach who is already on staff.

In other news, former Cardinal quarterback Jeff Brohm has been selected to replace Bobby Petrino as Head Coach of the WKU Hilltoppers. Also, Kevin Steele has reportedly turned down the defensive coordinator position at Louisville to remain on staff at Alabama.

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