On his fifth day as the new University of Louisville football coach, Bobby Petrino called his start with the Cardinals a "wild" but "fun" ride.
Petrino has been busy putting together his coaching staff and said it would be complete by the end of the week, has held a pair of team meetings, is looking at the current roster and trying to get busy on recruiting.
And he's also building relationships with his current players.
"It's been pretty wild since Thursday," Petrino said with a smile.
Petrino announced the hiring of offensive coordinator Garrick McGee from UAB and said he was "very close" to completing the rest of the staff. He's expected to name Georgia's Todd Grantham as the defensive coordinator later this week.
Other announcements expected: Kolby Smith will be the running backs coach, Lamar Thomas the wide receiver coach, Chris Klenakis as the offensive line coach, L.D. Scott as a defensive assistant and Terrell Buckley as a defensive backs coach. He could also hire one more, plus a strength staff.
"We should be pretty close," Petrino said. "We get a couple of guys in here tomorrow and we should be done with it. Again, we have to get some stuff cleared through human resources before we can announce them. But we're close."
Petrino said he met with his current team again on Sunday night and the coaches spent time at the training table – dinner – "trying to get to know everybody." He's also started watching film from last season.
"I think that was important for us to do — watch games from last year, evaluate talent we have, and how we recruit to talent we already have," Petrino said. "That's been a lot of fun to watch — the talent and kind of team that was put together here."
Petrino said he was impressed with the talent level at U of L currently but told his players the staff is trying to recruit players who are better than they are now.
"Our biggest thing is roster management," he said. "We have to make sure we have the right numbers at each position. And sometimes you can't just do that in one year, sometimes it takes a while to get the numbers where we want them."
Petrino said the "talent is there" on offense, noting the Cardinals must replace "a pretty good quarterback, "he said smiling. He said the offensive line needs depth – which will be addressed in recruiting – but he "likes the foundation of the line."
On defense, Petrino said he "is excited" about the nucleus back, including the front four guys but noted two "safeties that were pretty good we have to replace," speaking of Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor.
Petrino said it was too early to address anything on the quarterbacks who could replace Teddy Bridgewater but said he's told "there's talent there."
On the recruiting front, Petrino said he's chatted with just about all of the prospects he's needed to get on the phone with and will host players this weekend. Signing day is in 23 days.
U of L had 24 verbal commitments before Charlie Strong left and some of those have de-committed, while Petrino said he's had to do some "roster management" with others, which resulted in at least one – Daniel Gresham – not having an offer on the table from the new staff.
Petrino can't speak about specific recruits but said, "there's a lot of things to evaluate that not everyone is privy to."
Cardinal Authority will have more tomorrow on the recruiting efforts.