Petrino completes staff


University of Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino announced the hiring of assistant coaches Cort Dennison and Nick Petrino to his staff Friday afternoon.

Dennison and Petrino, both members of Bobby Petrino’s staff for the past three years will now be full-time assistant coaches for the Cardinals. Dennison will be the assistant secondary coach and recruiting coordinator, while Petrino will coach the wide receivers.

Dennison, who was the Director of On-Campus Recruiting this past season, joined the Louisville staff in 2014 as a defensive graduate assistant. Assisting with the linebackers, Dennison was an integral part of a defense that finished in the top 20 nationally amd finished with a 9-4 record.

“Cort is a bright football mind who I’ve had the privilege of working with for the last three years,” Bobby Petrino said. “An outstanding football player at the Division I level, Cort has extensive football knowledge and relates well to the student-athletes. He will be a valuable addition to our staff, and will be an asset in moving our program forward.”

Prior to coming to Louisville, Dennison worked as a graduate assistant for Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky, where he assisted with the linebackers and contributed to the opponents’ film breakdown and game-planning.

“I’m grateful and honored to be hired as the assistant secondary coach and the recruiting coordinator at Louisville,” Dennison said. “I’ve worked for coach Petrino for four years and it’s always been a goal of mine to be an assistant coach on his staff. I would like to thank coach Petrino for this opportunity and look forward to getting started both on the field and on the recruiting trail.”

As a player, Dennison was a standout linebacker at Washington, where he served as a captain and was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player during his senior season. A second-team All-Pac 12 selection, he finished as the Pac-12’s leading tackler with 128 total tackles, including a career-best 15 tackles in the Alamo Bowl versus Baylor.

Dennison graduated from Washington with a communications degree in 2011, and earned his master’s degree from Louisville in Sports Administration in 2015.

Petrino served the previous two seasons as a graduate assistant coach with the Cardinals, where he aided in the development of Louisville’s quarterbacks and wide receivers.

During games, he coached from the press box communicating with Bobby Petrino and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.

“I’ve watched Nick grow as a coach over the past several years,” Petrino said. “Having grown up in a football family, Nick understands what is expected of him as a full-time assistant coach. Not only does he know what it takes to be successful, he knows our system, having played in it and coached with me over a long period of time.”

Prior to joining the Louisville coaching staff, Petrino was a student assistant at Western Kentucky during the 2013 season, where he worked alongside the quarterback coach and the offensive staff. Petrino began his collegiate coaching career as a student coach at the Arkansas in 2010-11, assisting with the development of the quarterbacks as the Razorbacks finished 11-2 overall including a win in the 2011 Cotton Bowl.

“I’m extremely proud and humbled to the hired as the wide receivers coach at Louisville,” Nick Petrino said. “I would like to thank my dad for the opportunity and I will work as hard as I can to make this group of receivers the best in the country. I’ve been around this program and the city of Louisville for a very long time. I’m excited to begin my coaching career at one of the premier football programs in the country.”

Prior to transitioning to the coaching side of football, Petrino was a walk-on student-athlete at Arkansas when the Razorbacks closed the 2009 season with a Liberty Bowl win, and ended the 2010 season in the Sugar Bowl. In the prep ranks, Petrino was a highly successful quarterback at Louisville’s Trinity High School, where he won back-to-back state championships while earning MVP honors in 2005 and 2006. He also earned first-team all-state accolades and was the Kentucky Mr. Football runner-up.

Petrino earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies from Western Kentucky in 2014.