Sports Illustrated: How UofL Held on to Grantham and McGee

Posted on Feb 20 2015 - 6:42pm by Ethan Moore

Photo – AP


Zac Ellis of Sports Illustrated penned a detailed piece that highlighted how and why Louisville coordinators Todd Grantham and Gerrick McGee stayed with the program.  Grantham turned down the Oakland Raiders offer to be their DC, while McGee spurned an interview with Oklahoma.

Tight tussles with ACC power programs kept Grantham intrigued by what could come next at Louisville. That’s a big reason he spurned an offer to join the NFL’s Oakland Raiders last month. Grantham’s choice came weeks after offensive coordinator Garrick McGee also reaffirmed his commitment to the program. McGee passed up a number of college and NFL opportunities, including an interview for the offensive coordinator position at his alma mater, Oklahoma.

“I’ve had a lot of people say to me—people that I respect and people that have done well in this business—that I probably should’ve gone somewhere else,” McGee said. “But they don’t really know our day-to-day operation. They don’t know the feeling we have when we take the field. You’re not really in position to give advice if you don’t know what’s going on on a daily basis.”

Of course, there’s the offense. During Petrino’s first stint at Louisville, the program averaged at least 34 points per game in each of his four seasons. It reeled off 49.8 points per game during the 2005 campaign. This year, when McGee was weighing other offers, he recalled the feeling he got last offseason when Petrino lured him to the Cardinals’ staff from UAB. “That’s a pretty cool call to get from one of the top offensive coaches in college football,” McGee said. “The trust he has in me to run his offense, with him being one of the top [offensive] guys, that goes a long way.”

Grantham turned down chance to join Jack Del Rio’s staff as the Raiders defensive coordinator, an opportunity he admits “excited and interested” him. Grantham credited Jurich—“the best AD I’ve worked for”—and the Louisville community for convincing him to lay roots in the ACC.

He also couldn’t ignore Louisville’s future with Petrino. Burned bridges or not, Petrino has won everywhere he has been. “He’s going to have a winning program,” Grantham said. “That whole thing excited me to the fact that I felt like I could be a part of that puzzle and be a part of taking Louisville to the next level.”

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