After a disappointing end to the 2016 football season Tom Jurich and Bobby Petrino were quick to alter the coaching staff.
Todd Grantham left the Cardinals to become the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for Mississippi State, the same position he held at Louisville from 2014-2016. Grantham had a history of short tenures with multiple NFL and NCAA teams. He was criticized for the Louisville defense failing to get off the field on third downs, but was one of the best with turnovers.
Peter Sirmon replaced Grantham at the defensive coordinator position. Sirmon comes from Mississippi State in the switcharoo. He will leave coaching teams from the PAC-12 and SEC for the first time in nearly a decade.
Fortunately, Sirmon is known to be flexible when adjusting to new teams and will build the defense around the players, the talent, and the strengths of the team. In his one season with Mississippi State the Bulldogs defense was 110th in yards per game and 93rd in points per game.
Another change made recently was the hiring of Mike Summers. Summers was with the Cardinals from 2003-2006. During his time with U of L the offensive line was a force to be reckoned with. Louisville's offense was in the top ten for yards per game, rushing yards per game, passing yards per game, and points at different times. Petrino and Summers also worked together with the Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas Razorbacks.
Chirs Klenakis will switch over to tight ends coach for the Cards. This will be the first time there has been a coach designated to just the tight ends since Bobby Petino was rehired in 2014.
Lonnie Galloway remain as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
In a way, it's good to lose Grantham. Our defense spent quite a bit of time on the field and failed to get third down stops quite often. However, the defense was known to attack opposing teams with full force and constantly came up with interceptions. Gerod Holliman tied the NCAA single season interceptions record a couple of years ago. We will see what Sirmon has to offer for a defense that lost a handful of players to graduation.
Cards' fans should be ecstatic to have Summers back. Louisville was one game away from an undefeated season the last time he was here. (We all remember the offside field goal against Rutgers, right?) The pass block gave quarterbacks like Brian Brohm ample time to find receivers downfield. The rushing game was consistently one of the best with Summers in charge of the O-line. Sadly, Klenakis just never got the offensive line together and it showed the back half of the 2016 season.