Louisville has reportedly found its replacement for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. The Cardinals are bringing in Peter Sirmon, who served in the same role at Mississippi State.
The coaching carousel doesn’t stop too often when it comes to head coaches. And in terms of assistants, it’s seemingly spinning 24/7/365.
After it was reported that Todd Grantham was leaving Louisville to become the new defensive coordinator for Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, the Cardinals reportedly found their replacement by poaching Peter Sirmon, who served in the same role with the Bulldogs. The Sirmon-to-Louisville arrangement had been in the works for awhile, per FootballScoop, but the Cards wanted to wait until Grantham found a new home.
Bobby Petrino is also adding former South Carolina and Fresno State defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward as the team’s defensive backs coach.
While Sirmon was only in Starkville for one season, he served as assistant head coach, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for two seasons at USC after coaching the linebackers at Washington and Tennessee.
Under Grantham in 2016, Louisville ranked No. 8 in the FBS in yards per play allowed and No. 31 in scoring defense, as the unit was a big reason why the Cardinals went 9-4. While they did lose three games in a row to close the season, the lack of protection for Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson was a major reason for those setbacks.
Additionally, injuries affected the defense’s performance late in the year. Keep in mind that this was the same unit that registered five sacks and held Florida State to 284 yards in the blowout win over the Seminoles that put Jackson and the Cards on the map in 2016.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State’s defense finished No. 103 in the FBS in yards per play allowed in 2016 after ranking 44th in 2015. So we’ll see how the Cards fare in 2017 after they essentially traded DCs with the Bulldogs.