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Louisville officially welcomes back Bobby Petrino

Bobby Petrino

And there you have it.  The Prodigal Football Son has returned.

How long he stays or what controversy may be lurking around the next corner is to be determined.

Regardless, and following up on speculation that against all logic began gaining momentum Wednesday, Louisville confirmed in a release ahead of a press conference Thursday morning that it has hired Bobby Petrino as its new head football coach.  Petrino, who spent 2013 as the head coach at Western Kentucky, will replace Charlie Strong, who left the Cardinals after three seasons for the Texas job.

The official announcement comes after a special meeting of the university’s Personnel Committee was convened to discuss the hire.  That committee, as is usually the case, unanimously approved the move.

It also comes a little over seven years after Petrino ended a four-year stint as the Cardinals head coach, a wildly successful run that saw him compile a 41-9 record and an Orange Bowl win.  Since then, Petrino’s coaching career has been marked by the controversy left in the wake of his departures from the Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas Razorbacks.

And, as expected, Petrino talked — in generalities –about his controversial past in the press conference to officially introduce him as the UofL’s new head coach.

“I’ve made mistakes both professionally and personally, something that I’m not going to do again,” Petrino said, adding his “first mistake was ever leaving” Louisville in the first place. “I want everyone here to know this is my destination job. … This is where I want to finish my career,” said the vagabond coach.

Petrino’s boss is also sold on the “new man” angle that the university is pushing.

“I believe Bobby Petrino’s a changed man,” UofL athletic director Tom Jurich stated. “Bobby has convinced me he’s a changed man. …

“Bobby has convinced me he’s a changed man. I told Bobby the coach I had here is not the coach I want to hire. I want the new Bobby.”

Petrino also acknowledged that he’s contractually obligated to follow through on his “I want to finish my career at Louisville” creed, revealing that he has a $10 million buyout written into what’s reportedly a seven-year deal.  Petrino is actually quite familiar with eight-figure buyouts; in signing a seven-year deal with Arkansas in December of 2010, part of the language included in that deal was a buyout of $18 million if he left for another job in the first two years.

Of course, that buyout never came into play because, well, vroom vroom

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27 Responses to “Louisville officially welcomes back Bobby Petrino”
  1. scotchman says: Jan 9, 2014 11:01 AM

    Train wreck, scheduled.

  2. ningenito78 says: Jan 9, 2014 11:06 AM

    What a disgrace. And for such a smart and thorough AD in Jurich to do this is mind boggling.

  3. woebegong says: Jan 9, 2014 11:09 AM

    Momma, hide your daughters. A middle aged loose man is coming to the state of Kentucky.

  4. longtallsam says: Jan 9, 2014 11:11 AM

    scotchman says: Jan 9, 2014 11:01 AM
    Train wreck, scheduled.

    I wouldn’t bet on that. The guy can obviously coach, and hopefully he won’t make the same moral mistakes he made in the past.

    Besides, I always thought it funny that Louisville had as coaches, Petrino & Petino. A match made in heaven(well, maybe not heaven), in more ways than one.

  5. bucrightoff says: Jan 9, 2014 11:17 AM

    Why aren’t you using the neckbrace picture?

  6. John Taylor says: Jan 9, 2014 11:25 AM

    @bucrightoff: I think we’ve more than poured enough salt in those wounds — or road rash as the case may be — over the past couple of days.

  7. tigersfandan says: Jan 9, 2014 11:27 AM

    But Vanderbilt might have an opening shortly – and that’s an SEC job!

  8. lukarwarrior says: Jan 9, 2014 11:29 AM

    http://www.cardchronicle.com/2014/1/8/5289626/making-the-case-for-bobby-petrino-at-louisville

  9. gatorcheme says: Jan 9, 2014 12:18 PM

    Good luck to him and the Cardinals. I hope they both have continued success.

  10. thraiderskin says: Jan 9, 2014 12:48 PM

    Lukarwarrior, great article and agree with the final point the most.

  11. coltzfan166 says: Jan 9, 2014 1:15 PM

    Just for the record, his collegiate record is 83-30. Whatever your opinion of this guy is, he’s an excellent choice if you want to win football games. Get over yourselves.

  12. scotchman says: Jan 9, 2014 1:45 PM

    He’s an excellent choice if you want to win football games for awhile, and then have it all blow up in your face. He’s the Billy Martin of college football.

  13. givemethehighgear says: Jan 9, 2014 1:49 PM

    Louisville got what they wanted, now they have to live with it.

  14. overratedgators says: Jan 9, 2014 1:57 PM

    “But Vanderbilt might have an opening shortly – and that’s an SEC job!”

    Need I remind you what Louisville did to one of the SEC’s “premier teams” just last year?

  15. speweey says: Jan 9, 2014 2:05 PM

    Cheated on his wife with his equipment manager’s wife.

    Paid for her abortion.

    National Champions.

  16. speweey says: Jan 9, 2014 2:05 PM

    Cheated on his wife with his equipment manager’s wife.

    Paid for her abortion.

    National Champions..

  17. speweey says: Jan 9, 2014 2:05 PM

    Cheated on his wife with his equipment manager’s wife.

    Paid for her abortion.

    National Champions…

  18. speweey says: Jan 9, 2014 2:06 PM

    Rick Pitino

    Cheated on his wife with his equipment manager’s wife.

    Paid for her abortion.

    National Champions.

  19. speweey says: Jan 9, 2014 2:07 PM

    Rick Pitino

    Cheated on his wife with his equipment manager’s wife.

    Paid for her abortion.

    National Champions..

  20. speweey says: Jan 9, 2014 2:07 PM

    Rick Pitino

    Cheated on his wife with his equipment manager’s wife.

    Paid for her abortion.

    National Champions…

  21. realfootballfan says: Jan 9, 2014 2:11 PM

    Just heard some of the clips form this fiasco. Did he really say, “this is my destination job?” Lol, yeah only because no one else will hire you this time, Bobby.

  22. pastabelly says: Jan 9, 2014 2:15 PM

    Vandy isn’t quite Alabama, Florida, or LSU as far as destinations go for football coaches in the SEC. It’s probably less of a destination than many schools in the ACC including FSU, Clemson, VT, and Miami.

  23. jkaflagg says: Jan 9, 2014 5:07 PM

    Just remembering how many people at Louisville were thrilled when he left the first time, despite his success on the field…..he was that disagreeable a personality. The fact that Louisville is willing to buy into the “new man” narrative attests to the importance placed on a winning football team.

  24. realfootballfan says: Jan 9, 2014 7:42 PM

    Every time I hear him speak in a press comference, he sounds like a sociopath or something. Very creepy dude.

  25. auburntigers34 says: Jan 9, 2014 9:09 PM

    Does the new Bobby own a Harley?

  26. goodknave says: Jan 9, 2014 9:15 PM

    Great job, Louisville! It’s just too bad Jerry Sandusky wasn’t available.

  27. eprobono says: Jan 10, 2014 12:05 PM

    Petrino has not changed. What has changed are his options, and that is why The Ville is now his “destination job”.

    None of the NCAA programs ahead of Louisville in the pecking order (e.g. Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, USC, etc.) would ever hire him as head coach.

    Also, he’s burned his bridges with the NFL in how he handled the Atlanta tenure and exit.

    So yeah, it’s his destination job now.

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