Canes hire new D-Line coach

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Rick Petri, who has a history of developing some of the best defensive linemen in college football including former ‘Cane greats Warren Sapp, Kevin Patrick, Kenny Holmes and Kenard Lang will return as defensive line coach at the University of Miami announced head coach Randy Shannon on Thursday.

A veteran coach with 29 years of experience as a defensive line coach with stops at Arkansas State, Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech, Miami, South Carolina and Kentucky, Petri inherits a unit that returns 11 players with significant playing experience, including first team All-ACC performer Allen Bailey.

"We're really excited to have Rick Petri be a part of our Hurricane family," Miami head coach Randy Shannon said. "He brings a wealth of experience and has been very successful in developing some of the top defensive line talent in the country for years."

Petri spent the last five seasons as the defensive line coach at Kentucky, where he quickly turned the Wildcats' line into one of the best in the Southeastern Conference. This past season, defensive tackle Corey Peters was named first-team Coaches All-SEC. In 2008, Petri was named a finalist for the national Defensive Line Coach of the Year award by, when he guided current NFL stars Myron Pryor and Jeremy Jarmon to All-SEC honors.

Petri coached at Miami for three seasons with the Hurricanes from 1993-95 . He coached consensus All-America and Lombardi Award-winning lineman Sapp and helped guide the 1994 Hurricane defense which led the nation in scoring defense and total defense. In addition, Petri coached Patrick to All-America honors and Lang to Big East Rookie of the Year honors. Miami played in the Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl during his time.

While with the Hurricanes, Petri coached three future NFL first-round draft choices --Sapp (Tampa Bay, 1995), Lang (Washington, 1997), and Holmes (Houston, 1997). Sapp, of course, was a multi-year Pro Bowl selection and was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Lang was a nine-year NFL vet with the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Redskins. Holmes played several seasons in the league with Tennessee and the New York Giants.

Petri went to Kentucky from Ole Miss, where he coached the defensive tackles for six seasons. He joined the Rebel staff in Dec. 1998, in time to help coach the team in the Independence Bowl. The Rebels were bowl-eligible for the next five seasons and played in four more bowl games, capped by a 10-3 record and Cotton Bowl victory in the 2003 season. Two of Petri's tackles, Kendrick Clancy and Jesse Mitchell, earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors. Clancy was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2000 National Football League Draft and has been in the league for nine seasons. Petri also mentored defensive tackle Kelvin Pritchett, a first-round NFL draft pick, who enjoyed a 14-year career with the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Petri graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Pittsburg State in 1977-78. He went to Arkansas State in 1979, where he worked as a part-time coach with the offensive line. He was elevated to full-time assistant in 1980 and coached the defensive line until 1988.

Before Miami, he also coached the defensive tackles at Louisiana Tech in 1992. Petri took over defensive-end responsibilities at South Carolina from 1996-98. He developed John Abraham, a first-round pick by the New York Jets who spent five years with that club.

Petri and his wife, Marsha, have two sons, Brad and Kory.

Petri's Coaching Career

2005-2009 Kentucky Assistant Coach (Defensive Line), three bowl games
1998-2004 Ole Miss Assistant Coach (Defensive Tackles), five bowl games
1996-98 South Carolina Assistant Coach (Defensive Ends)
1993-95 Miami (Fla.) Assistant Coach (Defensive Line), two bowl games
1992 Louisiana Tech Assistant Coach (Defensive Tackles)
1989-91 Ole Miss Assistant Coach (Defensive Line), two bowl games
1980-88 Arkansas State Assistant Coach (Defensive Line)
1979 Arkansas State Part-time Assistant Coach (Offensive Line)
1977-78 Pittsburg State Graduate Assistant

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