Petrino adds seven to WKU staff

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WKYT) - Western Kentucky University head football coach Bobby Petrino has added seven assistant coaches to his staff for the 2013 football season, Petrino announced on Tuesday.

The seven assistant coaches include Ricky Brumfield (special teams/cornerbacks), Mike Cassity (secondary), Kevin Peoples (defensive ends/recruiting coordinator), L.D. Scott (defensive tackles), Kolby Smith (running backs), Mike Summers (offensive line) and Lamar Thomas (wide receivers).

The assistants will bring a wealth of football experience to the Hill, both as players and as coaches. Combined, the seven assistants have over 100 years of combined collegiate coaching experience, which include coaching stints at schools such as Arkansas, Baylor, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Marshall, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. Together, the seven announced assistants have coached in a combined 14 bowl games, including four BCS bowl games.

Coaching experience will be mixed with playing experience, as the seven assistants bring with them playing careers that included 10 bowl game appearances, a pair of national championships and 11 years of NFL playing experience. Six of the seven assistants have also either coached with, or played under Petrino at some point during their careers.

“I am excited to bring in a great mix of coaches with tremendous coaching experience,” Petrino said. "I really like the mix of having experienced guys and young guys that are getting started in a profession that have experienced the sport and competition at the highest level. I am very familiar with these assistants either as players or as coaches, which I think will benefit us as we move forward.”

Ricky Brumfield will take over the Hilltopper special teams unit after spending two seasons as the special teams coordinator and safeties coach at Nicholls State, with a previous special teams coaching stint at Fairmont State for seven seasons. Brumfield was a wide receiver at Utah State, playing under Petrino, who was the offensive coordinator during Brumfield's playing days.

“Ricky is a former player of mine when I was at Utah State and has always been very impressive,” Petrino said. “He came to the Atlanta Falcons with me and did a special teams internship and has become a very good instructor. He will add a lot to our special teams unit.”

Mike Cassity comes to the Hill with 38 seasons of collegiate coaching experience, including 22 seasons as a defensive coordinator. Cassity will take over as WKU’s secondary coach, after previously holding that same position at Kentucky last season. Cassity has WKU roots, as the former Hilltopper assistant served on the WKU defensive staff from 1983-88, serving as the defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach. Cassity has previous coaching experience at schools such as Baylor, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin, among others.

“To be able to have Mike on our staff to coach the secondary is awesome because he used to be my coordinator and did a great job coordinating our defense at the University of Louisville,” Petrino said. “He really changed the culture on defense when he came in and improved our defense dramatically in a short time. He is a great motivator and very enthusiastic."

Kevin Peoples brings Sun Belt Conference coaching experience to the WKU coaching staff, taking over as the defensive ends coach and recruiting coordinator after holding a defensive tackles position at Arkansas last season. Peoples served as the defensive line coach at Arkansas State in the Sun Belt Conference for eight seasons before moving to Arkansas under Petrino in 2010. With Petrino, Arkansas posted consecutive 10-win seasons for just the third time in school history and played in the first BCS bowl game in school history with an appearance in the Sugar Bowl following the 2010 season.

“It is great to have Kevin here,” Petrino said. “He is a guy that really understands recruiting and what you need to do, particularly in this conference. He has experienced the Sun Belt Conference before and does an excellent job of recruiting young men. He is a very good technician and knows how to really coach and teach the position.”

Former University of Louisville standout defensive lineman L.D. Scott will take over as the defensive tackles coach after spending two seasons on the staff at Arkansas, including one season as a defensive intern under Petrino in 2011. As a defensive lineman at Louisville, Scott put together a 41-tackle season in his senior year of 2009 and had at least 20 tackles in each of his final three seasons. He also played a role in Louisville’s Orange Bowl season of 2006 where the Cardinals went 12-1, winning the Orange Bowl over Wake Forest under head coach Bobby Petrino.

“L.D. was a guy that played the position and did a great job of playing for me at the University of Louisville,” Petrino said. “I am excited to have him here. He coached one year at the high school level and two years as a graduate assistant, so it is great to have him as a full member of this staff.”

Former NFL running back Kolby Smith will re-unite with his former collegiate head coach in Bobby Petrino, taking over as WKU’s running backs coach. Smith played four years under Petrino at Louisville, rushing for over 1,800 yards in his career, while catching 56 passes for over 500 yards within the Cardinal offense. In Louisville’s Orange Bowl season of 2006, Smith averaged over six yards per carry, leading the Cardinal rushing attack after Michael Bush went down with an injury. Smith went on to spend four years in the NFL, rushing for over 400 yards in his rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith spent the 2012 football season as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Arkansas.

“Kolby was my first recruit at the University of Louisville when I was head coach and he came in and played all four years and graduated in four years and went on to play at the NFL level,” Petrino said. “His experience playing the position and understanding of the offense will be very valuable to running backs that we have within our offense.”

Mike Summers will join Mike Cassity as a pair of 2012 University of Kentucky assistants to join Petrino’s staff, taking over as the offensive line coach for WKU. Cassity comes to the Hill owning over 30 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and the professional level. Summers spent three seasons as the run game coordinator and the offensive line coach at Kentucky under head coach Joker Phillips, after spending time on Petrino’s staff at Louisville, with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and at Arkansas. At Arkansas, Summers served as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach, as the Razorbacks led the SEC in scoring offense in 2009. Summers has also spent time at Oklahoma State, Oregon State and Texas A&M, among others.

“Mike is a great teacher,” Petrino said. “He does an excellent job of motivating the offensive line. The one thing that Mike has always done is that he has always been able to unify the offensive line. That is a tough position to play and they have really been able to come together as a family and understand that it takes a special person to be part of that group.”

Former University of Miami (Fla.) and NFL wide receiver Lamar Thomas will join Petrino’s staff to coach wide receivers, after holding that same position at Hampton over the last two seasons. Thomas was a two time All-Big East Conference consensus First Team selection as a receiver. He left Miami owning two national championship rings (1989, 1991) and holding the school record for the most career receptions (144). When he left, he ranked second in both receiving yards (2,271) and touchdowns (23), behind only Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin. Thomas was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he played three seasons (1993-1995), before finishing his career with the Miami Dolphins (1995-2000).

“I am very excited about having a guy like Lamar on our staff,” Petrino said. “He has two national championship rings from his time at Miami in an offense that was one of the starting points of our offensive scheme under Dennis Erickson. He has experience playing at the NFL level and has now committed himself to coaching after gaining experience at the high school and the collegiate level. He is very impressive to me and I am excited to have him coaching at WKU.”

All seven assistant coaches will start immediately at WKU under head coach Bobby Petrino.

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