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Petrino hires former UAB coach McGee as offensive coordinator

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has hired former UAB head coach Garrick McGee as the Cardinals' offensive coordinator, citing similar philosophies and their long history together.

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The offense-minded Petrino hopes that both factors translate into continued success in their latest stop together.

''Garrick and I go way back,'' Petrino said during a news conference Monday.

McGee, who also played in college under Petrino, will be the quarterbacks coach in addition to the offensive coordinator.

''Anytime I've had the opportunity to hire him, I've hired him. We think a lot alike. He knows exactly how I like to coach quarterbacks. We have the same beliefs on offense,'' Petrino said.

McGee was Petrino's first staff addition since being hired for the second time on Thursday. Petrino is expected to pick Todd Grantham as his defensive coordinator after Georgia coach Mark Richt said Sunday that Grantham had left the Bulldogs to accept a similar job with Louisville.

Petrino said he is finalizing the rest of his staff. He will retain defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who served under Charlie Strong before the former Cardinals coach left last week to become Texas' head coach.

McGee's mission as the program joins the Atlantic Coast Conference next season is continuing Louisville's offensive proficiency without quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who's forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Bridgewater passed for 9,817 yards and 72 touchdowns in 39 career games, completing 68.3 percent of his attempts.

Bridgewater's possible replacements are redshirt freshman Will Gardner, freshman Kyle Bolin and junior Brett Nelson. McGee met with his QB contingent over the weekend.

''We're just going to stand back and watch them,'' he said of choosing a starter. ''We're going to see which guy steps forward and becomes a leader.''

McGee was 5-19 in two seasons at UAB before stepping down last week. Prior to that he was Petrino's OC at Arkansas from 2010-11, a period in which the Razorbacks went 21-5 and went to the Sugar and Cotton bowls.

The former quarterback also played for Petrino at Arizona State from 1991-92 before going on to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Oklahoma.

In his final season with Arkansas, McGee was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach.

''Based on what I know as a head coach, I understand this is what a head coach needs on a daily basis,'' McGee said.

''It was a blessing for me to have that opportunity (at UAB). I think I'm in position now to be one of the top assistants in the country because of my experience as a head coach.''

Tagged: Louisville, UAB, Teddy Bridgewater

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