Brian VanGorder is the new defensive coordinator for the Louisville football team. Bobby Petrino confirmed the news during an interview on Howie Lindsey’s “Louisville First” show on 790-KRD Monday morning.
VanGorder, 58, spent the past season as an assistant at Oklahoma State. He was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame beginning in 2014, but was fired by head coach Brian Kelly just four games into the 2016 season.
“I am truly excited about the opportunity to join the football program at the University of Louisville,” said VanGorder in a press release. “Coach Petrino has built an impressive program here and I know that the culture that he has created here at Louisville is something that I believe I fit well with and will be comfortable in.”
There is some history here, as VanGorder was the linebackers coach for the Atlanta Falcons during Petrino’s one-year stint in the NFL in 2007. In all, VanGorder has spent 37 seasons as a coach and has been with 10 different college programs.
“I’ve known Brian for a long time and have an extremely high level of respect for everything he’s accomplished throughout his coaching career,” said Petrino. “He’s an outstanding teacher, a great communicator, and has displayed the ability to develop players at every level.”
The initial reaction to this hire seems to be ... less than enthusiastic. The fans are upset, and it’s hard to blame them. Our last image of VanGorder is of him being verbally assaulted by Brian Kelly on the sidelines as his Notre Dame defense once again failed to slow down anyone.
On the flip side, he certainly has experience. Maybe this will be a pleasant surprise. Or maybe it will at least be better than last season.