Bobby Petrino hasn’t changed much since his last tour with the Louisville Cardinals.
Even after failing miserably at the NFL level and then publicly embarrassing himself, his family and the University of Arkansas, it doesn’t seem like Petrino has learned from his mistakes.
There is now in-fighting among Louisville’s coaching staff with Petrino at the middle of it all.
“Sources with ties to the Cardinals’ football program and Petrino said there’s significant friction between Petrino and feisty defensive coordinator Todd Grantham,” SI.com’s Thayer Evans and Pete Thamel reported. “The two have feuded often since Grantham’s hiring in January.
“So much that one source insists Petrino would have already gotten rid of Grantham if not for his guaranteed five-year contract that pays him nearly $1 million annually.”
Evans and Thamel also spoke with Jamaine Brooks, who decided to leave the program this past spring. Brooks doesn’t paint a pretty picture regarding Petrino’s treatment of his players.
“He’s a mean guy,” Brooks told SI.com. “He cusses you out. You’re never doing enough. He’s still Bobby Mother——- Petrino.”
“The way he came in doing business I didn’t like it. The way he treated people. He just wasn’t a good coach.”
Unfortunately, Petrino has proven to be a good game-day coach. It’s why a program like Louisville, which is transitioning to the ACC this season, decided to re-hire Petrino despite his checkered past. Petrino is 83-30 during his 10 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He helped place Louisville on the national scene when he led the Cardinals to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory in 2006.
Petrino was also able to sell Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich on the notion he wouldn’t be the same coach he was when he was originally coached for the university from 2003 to ’06.
“I believe Bobby Petrino’s a changed man,” Jurich said upon Petrino’s hiring. “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 and Grantham will simply have to find a way to work together. Not all head coaches and coordinators do — ask Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan — but they can still be successful. Even if they can’t, Grantham’s contract is prohibitive, and he’s not leaving Louisville any time soon.
“He’s stuck with him,” a source told SI.com.