Louisville football: Getting to know the coaching staff for the 2014 season

Andy Lyons

It's official. With the hiring of Lamar Thomas and Terrell Buckley on Friday, head coach Bobby Petrino has completed his coaching staff for the 2014 season. Here's a look at the new staff.

Head Coach

Bobby Petrino

  • Overall head coaching record of 83-30 at the collegiate level. Petrino was head coach at WKU last season.
  • Petrino served as Louisville's head coach from 2003-06 and led UofL to a 41-9 record. Additionally, he guided the school to a bowl game after each season and lead the Cards to their first BCS game and victory - a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the FedEx Orange Bowl.
  • The 41 wins over that four-year span were the most in school history and featured an average margin of victory of 26.0 points. The Cardinals averaged over 34.0 points per game in all four years, including a best of 49.8 points per game in 2004. In 50 games at Louisville, Petrino’s teams scored 30 or more points 36 times: 40 or more point on 15 different occasions; and 50 or more points 13 times.
  • Petrino is the only coach in Louisville history to reach nine wins in his first season. His 2006 squad finished with a 12-1 record, tied for the most wins in school history.
  • As a college head coach,Petrino has led his teams to seven bowl games in nine years, including both Louisville’s and Arkansas’ first BCS bowl games. His programs have achieved four 10-win seasons along with top-10 finishes nationally three times.
  • In nine seasons as a college head coach, Petrino has had a total of one losing season (2008 Arkansas). He has achieved 8 or more wins in eight out of nine seasons as a college head coach.
  • You can follow Coach Petrino on Twitter and watch his introduction and his latest press conference here.


Garrick McGee

Asst Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, QBs

  • Left his position as head coach of UAB to serve as Offensive coordinator under Petrino. His overall record while at UAB was 5-19 in two seasons.
  • McGee served as offensive coordinator under Petrino at Arkansas in 2010 and 2011.
  • At Arkansas, McGee directed an offense that scored 30 or more points 19 times in 36 games. In 2011, Arkansas scored 40 or more points six times and led the Southeastern Conference in total offense.
  • McGee's introductory press conference can be viewed here.
  • McGee on his role as an offensive coordinator: "I know the role of an assistant. I think I’m in a great position to be one of the best assistant coaches in the game, because of my experience as a head coach. I think the coordinator word means actually coordinate the offense. My duty will be to make sure the dots are all in place, but our head coach is one of the best play callers in the history of college football."

Chris Klenakis

Offensive Line, Running Game Coordinator

  • Left his position as offensive line coach at Iowa State to work under Petrino. He served as the offensive line coach for two season under Petrino at Arkansas in 2010-11.
  • 17 offensive linemen who played under Klenakis have advanced to the NFL.
  • In 2012, Klenakis directed an offensive line at Arkansas that allowed the third fewest sacks in the SEC.
  • Before his stint at Arkansas, Klenakis served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Nevada for six seasons. He ran a "Pistol" offense that was prolific, featuring a powerful running game led by the offensive line and, from 2007-09, current San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
  • You can follow coach Klenakis on Twitter.

Kolby Smith

Running Backs

  • Played at Louisville under Petrino from 2003-06 and was a running back in the NFL from 2007-2010.
  • Smith served as running backs coach at WKU last season and assistant strength and conditioning coach with Arkansas in 2012.
  • At Louisville, Smith rushed for over 1,800 yards, averaged nearly six yards per carry, and scored 18 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 56 passes for over 500 yards and two touchdowns.
  • At WKU, Smith's running backs combined for 30 of the team’s 31 rushing touchdowns in 2013, led by Andrews’ career-best 16. Andrews also set a school record for the most 100-yard rushing games in a career (21), in a season (11), and consecutively (11). He generated 125 all-purpose yards in 25 consecutive games, a streak unmatched to within 10 games by any other player in the country.
  • Smith’s running back group also accounted for 724 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air.
  • It is unknown whether or not Coach Smith has an affinity for Colby cheese.
  • Smith's introduction and press conference can be viewed here.

Lamar Thomas

Wide Receivers

  • Served as wide receivers coach under Petrino at Western Kentucky in 2012.He served as wide receivers coach at Hampton for two seasons before joining Petrino's staff at WKU.
  • At WKU, Thomas' wide receivers setting single season school records for passing yardage as well as total offense.
  • Prior to arriving as an assistant coach at Hampton, Thomas served as passing game coordinator for three seasons at Boynton Beach Community High in Boynton Beach, Fla.
  • Thomas was wide receiver at Miami (Fla.) from 1988-92. His career earned him induction into the UM Hall of Fame in 2013. After his collegiate career, Thomas was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played three seasons (1993-95), before finishing his career with the Miami Dolphins (1996-2000).


    Todd Grantham

    Defensive Coordinator

    • Left his position as defensive coordinator at Georgia to serve as defensive coordinator under Petrino. Grantham had spent spent four seasons as Georgia's defensive coordinator, including two seasons as the associate head coach.
    • In 2011, Grantham's defense finished fifth in total defense (11th versus rushing, 10th versus passing), third in third-down defense, fifth in interceptions, and seventh in turnovers gained (32).
    • He has 11-years of coaching experience in the NFL career including: Indianapolis Colts defensive line coach (1999-01), Houston Texans defensive line coach (2002-04), Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator (2005-07), and Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach (2008-2009).
    • Grantham's introduction and press conference can be viewed here.

    Clint Hurtt

    Defensive Line

    • Served as defensive line coach at Miami (Fla.) from 2006-2009. He joined the Louisville coaching staff in 2010 as the defensive line coach and was retained by Petrino for the same position.
    • Widely considered to be one of the nation's top recruiters. His 2011 class class was the best in the history of the school, ranking 22nd by, 29th by and 33rd by Hurtt was recognized by as the National Recruiter of the Year in 2011.
    • In 2011, the Cardinals finished 21st in the nation in sacks and 22nd in tackles for loss. In 2013, the Cardinals finished 1st in sacks and 6th in tackles for loss.

    L.D. Scott

    Outside Linebackers

    • Played at Louisville from 2006-2009. He recorded 41 tackle in his senior year of 2009 and had at least 20 tackles in each of his final three seasons.
    • Scott served two seasons as Western Kentucky's defensive ends coach and was a student assistant under Petrino for two years at Arkansas.
    • In his first season at WKU, Scott worked with defensive line coach Don Dunn to craft together a lineup that saw much of its unit depart due to graduation. The new lineup improved to a point where it limited its final four conference opponents to just 105 yards in the ground.
    • Scott is Coach Petrino's son-in-law.
    • Scott's introduction and press conference can be viewed here.

    Tony Grantham

    Inside Linebackers and Special Teams

    • Served as outside linebackers coach at Navy for the past six seasons. He has been with the Naval Academy for 10 years overall.
    • Under Tony Grantham's tutelage, outside linebacker Keegan Wetzel was named a first-team Academic All-American and was named to the All-Independent team by a nationwide media panel.
    • Tony Grantham joined the Naval Academy staff after two seasons as a graduate assistant at LSU under current Alabama head coach Saban. While in Baton Rouge, Grantham spent one year working on the offensive side of the ball and one year working on the defensive side.

    Terrell Buckley


    • Spent the last two seasons as the cornerbacks coach at Akron.
    • He was a two-year starter and three-year letterwinner as a cornerback and return specialist at Florida State (1989-91) and was inducted into the school's sports hall of fame in 2003.
    • He had his jersey No. 27 retired in 2011 and is one of only nine players in FSU history to earn that distinction.
    • Buckley was picked fifth in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and spent the next 14 seasons in the league (1992-2005).
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