After a seventh straight loss dropped Louisville to a woeful record of 2-8 this season, Louisville has reportedly fired head coach Bobby Petrino, effective immediately. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports was among the first to report the news of the firing, which seemed more and more likely to occur as the losses continued to pile up for the Cardinals. The university officially announced the firing Sunday morning.
“We want to thank Bobby for guiding our football program to some of the better seasons we have had historically at U of L during his two separate tenures here,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Vince Tyra said. “However, at this time we feel the program needs different leadership and we owe it to our student-athletes and fans to get this turned around.”
The loss comes days after Louisville lost a road game at No. 13 Syracuse by a margin of 54-23. It was the fifth straight loss by double-digits for Louisville as the downward trend of the program over the past two years continues to deliver pain. Petrino has a combined record at Louisville of 77-35, but the Cardinals are 36-26 in his second stint with the program including the 2-8 mark this season.
Louisville will be on the hook for a $14 million buyout, according to the coaching salary database compiled by USA Today ($14,056,250). For a school going through as many changes as it has over the past couple of years, that is no easy price tag to take on, but the direction of the Louisville program from being a playoff contender and with a Heisman Trophy winner just two years ago to where it is now made it painfully clear a change needed to be made.
“I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change and it needs to start happening now,” Tyra said. “We expect to determine a new head coach soon to restore our football program to national prominence.”
There has been no update on who will assume the role of interim coach for the remainder of Louisville’s season. Louisville hosts NC State next Saturday and wraps up the season at home against Kentucky. [UPDATE: Safeties coach Lorenzo Ward was named interim head coach.]
The popular name that pops up for Louisville’s next head coach is Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, although he is coming off one of the worst losses he has had at Purdue this weekend.
UCLA redshirt junior Jordan Wilson has announced he is leaving the Bruins. In a post on his Twitter account on Friday afternoon, Wilson announced he is entering the transfer portal with the intent of finishing up his collegiate career with some other program.
“[I’d] like to announce that I will be entering the transfer portal, graduating at the end of the Spring quarter, and playing my final year of eligibility somewhere else,” Wilson announced in a statement on his Twitter account.
The decision of Wilson to leave UCLA comes at an unfortunate time for the Bruins. Wilson was likely to be a starter at tight end for UCLA in the fall. Wilson is the third tight end to leave UCLA this offseason. Devin Asiasi previously made the decision to declare for the NFL draft a year early. Matt Lynch also stepped into the transfer portal. Now, UCLA has a wide-open competition for playing time at the tight end spot beginning this spring.
Wilson caught seven passes for 72 yards for UCLA in 2019. He will leave UCLA having caught 25 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns in the past three seasons. As a graduate transfer, Wilson will be eligible to play his final year of eligibility anywhere he ends up this fall.
USC has a new defensive coordinator. The Trojans announced on Friday the school has officially hired Todd Orlando to fill the role of defensive coordinator. Orlando joins USC after coaching the past three seasons at Texas.
Orlando actually joined the Texas Tech program after being let go by Texas following staff changes with the Longhorns. Despite landing a job with the Red Raiders, Orlando remained a top target for USC head coach Clay Helton.
“We are excited to have Todd join our Trojan football program,” Helton said in a released statement. “He is an experienced and successful defensive coordinator who has made an impact everywhere he has coached. He brings a passion, energy, toughness and discipline to his coaching and those characteristics were evident in our discussions. His defensive system poses an extreme challenge to offenses.”
Orlando replaces Clancy Pendergast, who was let go by Helton amid USC’s own staff changes after a down 2019 season. As previously mentioned (HERE), Orlando actually had worse defensive numbers compared to what Pendergast coached with USC last season. However, a contrast of playing styles and offensive outputs between the schedule Texas faced in 2019 (including games against LSU and Oklahoma) and what USC faced could lead to some skewed figures.
Orlando’s first test as a defensive coordinator will be a monster. USC opens the 2020 season in Arlington, Texas against Alabama.
Cal assistant coach Gerald Alexander is leaving to coach with the Miami Dolphins. Alexander confirmed in a message posted on his Twitter account he is heading to the NFL for a coaching opportunity. Multiple reports have confirmed it will be with the Miami Dolphins.
Alexander thanked Cal head coach Justin Wilcox for the opportunity to be a part of Wilcox’s first coaching staff at Cal.
Alexander joined the Cal program in 2017 and spent the past three seasons as a defensive backs coach for the program. He has played a role in helping to coach one of the better defensive teams in the Pac-12. He previously coached at Montana State, Indiana State and with Chris Peterssen at Washington. Alexander played for Petersen at Boise State.
This will mark a return to the NFL for Alexander. He previously played in the league for five seasons with the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and, appropriately enough, the Miami Dolphins. Alexander was a second-round draft pick of Detroit in 2007.
One of the nearly dozen Oklahoma State football players who entered the transfer portal this cycle has found a new collegiate home.
Thursday, Tulane announced that Kevin Henry has officially been added to the program’s roster. As the linebacker left the Oklahoma State football team as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play for the AAC team immediately in 2020.
The upcoming season will serve as Henry’s final year of eligibility. Henry had previously been awarded a sixth season from the NCAA after taking a redshirt as a true freshman and then missing all but one game of 2017 because of a torn ACL.
A three-star member of the Oklahoma State football Class of 2015, Henry was rated as the No. 25 safety in the country. He was also the No. 20 player regardless of position in the state of Louisiana. Only one signee on the defensive side of the ball in OSU’s class that year, defensive tackle Darrion Daniels, was rated higher than Henry.
Daniels, incidentally, ultimately finished up his collegiate playing career at Nebraska after transferring to the Cornhuskers in December of 2018.
During his time in Stillwater, Henry played in a total of 36 games, including a dozen appearances this past season. He started one of those three-dozen games, Oklahoma State football’s Liberty Bowl win over Missouri following the 2018 regular season.
In those appearances, Daniels was credited with 51 tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble, one quarterback hit and one pass defensed.