@LATechFB Announces Rick Petri as Defensive Line Coach
Jan. 22, 2015
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz announced Thursday that Rick Petri has joined the staff as the team's defensive line coach. He joins the LA Tech Family after holding the same position at Duke the last four years.
This marks Petri's second stint at Louisiana Tech after serving on the Bulldogs staff in 1992, the program's fourth season in Division I-A (now FBS). That season LA Tech opened the season with a 10-9 win at Baylor and finished the year with an undefeated record at home.
"It is exciting to come back to Louisiana Tech," Petri said. "My wife and I both have fond memories of our time here - even though a few years have passed - and it is always exciting to come back and see a place where you have been, to see how it has changed for the better and you can easily see the good things that are happening. The staff has been very welcoming and Coach Holtz is obviously one of the best in the business. I am excited to spend some time with him and learn from him because you are always learning and adding to what you do and what you believe in. It is an exciting time for both my wife and me."
Petri joins the Louisiana Tech staff after spending the last four seasons as the defensive line coach at Duke where he helped the Blue Devils to 28 wins over four seasons including the 2013 ACC Coastal Division title and three bowl game appearances.
"Rick brings such a wealth of experience with a number of years coaching in the Southeastern Conference," Holtz said of Petri's arrival in Ruston. "He has turned out numerous players in the NFL and brings a lot of experience that will help many of our upperclassmen continue to elevate their game but, at the same time, help bring along some of our freshmen that we are going to need to contribute as we go forward. I could not be more excited about being able to make this work and have Rick join the LA Tech Family."
A college coaching veteran of over 30 seasons, Petri has made coaching stops at Ole Miss, Miami, South Carolina and Kentucky among others throughout his career. He joins a LA Tech program that is coming off an appearance in the Conference USA Championship Game and a Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl win over Illinois.
"I am fortunate to be coming into a program that is building on accomplished success," said Petri. "This is not an instance where you perceive the success coming in the future, it is already there. Just like the new end zone facility, you see the building coming along and you see the construction taking place. I think it is important that we have a situation where we are already building on that success, not just talking about the type of success we want to have. It is an exciting time to be at Louisiana Tech with being a member of Conference USA, the teams we get to play and the opportunity to recruit quality people. The program is surrounded by quality people, people that enjoy football and want to continue building the program the right way. It is an exciting time to be a Bulldog."
In both 2012 and 2013, Duke's defensive front that was guided by Petri was spearheaded by ends Kenny Anunike and Justin Foxx. Anunike, who led the Blue Devils in sacks in each of his final three seasons, was a two-time All-ACC pick while Foxx, who served as a captain of Duke's ACC Coastal Division championship team in 2013, finished his 45-game career with 152 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.
Anunike, one of just two players in Duke history to lead the Blue Devils in sacks three consecutive seasons, went on to sign a free agent contract with the NFL's Denver Broncos in May of 2014.
In 2011, Petri mentored a youthful Blue Devil defensive front that included just one senior in nose guard Charlie Hatcher, who completed his career with a 30-tackle, two-sack campaign. Petri also tutored Anunike, who was leading the ACC in both sacks and tackles for loss through the first three weeks of the season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in Duke's win over Tulane in late September.
Petri served on Cutcliffe's staff at Ole Miss from 1998-04, helping the Rebels to a 44-29 record and four bowl victories. In 2003, Ole Miss went 10-3, captured a share of the SEC Western Division title and defeated Oklahoma State, 31-29, in the Cotton Bowl. While with the Rebels, Petri coached the defensive tackles and tutored a pair of first team All-SEC selections in Kendrick Clancy and Jesse Mitchell. Clancy went on to be a third round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Petri went to Durham after spending the 2010 campaign at ACC member Miami. That year, the Hurricane defensive unit ranked among the league's leaders in pass defense (1st), pass defense efficiency (1st), opponent third down percentage (2nd), opponent first downs (2nd) total defense (3rd), sacks (3rd), and scoring defense (5th). Under Petri's guidance, senior Allen Bailey earned All-ACC honors after leading the Hurricanes in quarterback sacks.
From 2005-09, Petri was on the staff at Kentucky where he helped the Wildcats to four consecutive bowl game appearances that included victories over Clemson (2006 Music City Bowl), Florida State (2007 Music City Bowl) and East Carolina (2009 Liberty Bowl). In Lexington, Petri coached three future draft picks in Myron Pryor (6th round, New England, 2009), Jeremy Jarmon (3rd round, Washington, 2010) and Corey Peters (3rd round, Atlanta, 2010).
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Petri got his start in coaching at Pittsburg State (1977-78). He then spent 10 years on the staff at Arkansas State before a three-year (1989-91) stint at Ole Miss under head coach Billy Brewer (a former Louisiana Tech head coach). During his first stint in Oxford, Petri coached Kelvin Pritchett, who was a first round choice of the Dallas Cowboys in 1991 and spent 14 seasons with the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.
After one season at Louisiana Tech (1992), he enjoyed three seasons at Miami (1993-95) as the Hurricanes went 27-7, won two BIG EAST championships, finished all three seasons ranked in the Associated Press national poll and played in both the Fiesta and Orange Bowls. In addition, Petri coached three future first round NFL draft choices in Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay, 1995), Kenard Lang (Washington, 1997) and Kenny Holmes (Houston, 1997). Sapp went on to earn NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1999. In 1994, the Hurricanes led the nation in both scoring defense and total defense.
From 1996-98, Petri tutored the defensive ends at South Carolina where he helped develop John Abraham, a first round pick of the New York Jets in the 2000 NFL Draft and multi-year Pro Bowl honoree.
Petri is a 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri-Rolla. He and his wife, Marsha, have two sons, Brad and Kory.
Petri's hiring is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
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