Now that Louisville has made the decision to move on from Bobby Petrino, who was officially fired on Sunday, it’s time to figure out how much it is going to cost Louisville. According to comments made by Louisville athletics director Vince Tyra, the school is preparing to pay the $14 million due to Petrino per his contract with the university.
The plan will be to pay Petrino in quarterly payments and have the balance paid in full by the end of 2021. That comes out to about 12 quarterly payments of about $1.17 million.
Spreading out the payments to Petrino through the end of 2021 helps alleviate the financial burden for the school. Considering Louisville will likely want to bring in a known commodity as the next head coach rather than go to a top assistant coach, Louisville is going to have a decent coaching contract on its hands for the football program while paying off Petrino.
In addition to cutting ties with Petrino, Louisville has also removed assistant coaches Ryan Beard, L.D. Scott, Nick Petrino and Andy Wagner from the football staff. Beard and Scott are sons-in-law of Petrino, and Nick Petrino is, of course, the now-former head coach’s son.
After a seventh straight loss dropped Louisville to a woeful record of 2-8 this season, Louisville has reportedly fired head coach Bobby Petrino, effective immediately. Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports was among the first to report the news of the firing, which seemed more and more likely to occur as the losses continued to pile up for the Cardinals. The university officially announced the firing Sunday morning.
“We want to thank Bobby for guiding our football program to some of the better seasons we have had historically at U of L during his two separate tenures here,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Vince Tyra said. “However, at this time we feel the program needs different leadership and we owe it to our student-athletes and fans to get this turned around.”
The loss comes days after Louisville lost a road game at No. 13 Syracuse by a margin of 54-23. It was the fifth straight loss by double-digits for Louisville as the downward trend of the program over the past two years continues to deliver pain. Petrino has a combined record at Louisville of 77-35, but the Cardinals are 36-26 in his second stint with the program including the 2-8 mark this season.
Louisville will be on the hook for a $14 million buyout, according to the coaching salary database compiled by USA Today ($14,056,250). For a school going through as many changes as it has over the past couple of years, that is no easy price tag to take on, but the direction of the Louisville program from being a playoff contender and with a Heisman Trophy winner just two years ago to where it is now made it painfully clear a change needed to be made.
“I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change and it needs to start happening now,” Tyra said. “We expect to determine a new head coach soon to restore our football program to national prominence.”
There has been no update on who will assume the role of interim coach for the remainder of Louisville’s season. Louisville hosts NC State next Saturday and wraps up the season at home against Kentucky. [UPDATE: Safeties coach Lorenzo Ward was named interim head coach.]
The popular name that pops up for Louisville’s next head coach is Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, although he is coming off one of the worst losses he has had at Purdue this weekend.