Rick Petri, a collegiate coaching veteran of over 30 seasons, joined the Duke staff in January of 2011 and coaches the Blue Devil defensive line. His coaching resume includes a six-season stint with David Cutcliffe at Ole Miss.
In both 2012 and 2013, Duke’s defensive front 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 came 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. 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.
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