Petrino back in coaching again, fortunately not here

No worries he will never return to the University of Louisville. Not in anyone’s wildest dreams. His or ours.

But Bobby Petrino is back, back in the college football coaching ranks. Took the job at Missouri State University last year, a program that had one win in 11 games the previous season. Losing seasons in 21 of the last 30 seasons.

His contract at Missouri State is for $250,000 annually over five years, a far cry from the $3.9 million per year he was receiving from UofL. He was  fired before the end of the 2018 season, leaving with seven straight losses and a 2-8 won-lost record.

Petrino’s team lost its first three games in the fall, including a 48-0 loss to Oklahoma before the season was interrupted by Covid-19. But the Bears, who play in Missouri Valley Conference, have won five of their last six this spring. Earning their first share of an MVC title since 1990, with a 5-4 record. They close the season Saturday against Illinois State and are in the running for the FCS playoffs.

Not surprisingly, Petrino’s signing was part of a family package, as it was at Louisville. His son Nick Petrino is filling the job of quarterbacks coach and his son-in-law L. D. Scott is the defensive line coach and run game coordinator.

Other former UofL staff members include Ryan Beard, who was linebackers coach and co-special teams coordinator, Ronnie Fouch, the former offensive quality control coach, Reggie Johnson, a former linebackers coach, and Tramain Thomas, former defensive quality control coach.

Lots of familiar faces counting on a man who was sent packing by Arkansas and Louisville and abandoned the Atlanta Falcons before the season was over. Petrino apparently unable to enjoy the $14 million buyout from UofL, needing the adulation and control that a collegiate coaching job brings, even if it’s Missouri State.

Based on his painful past, there is little doubt Petrino will find a way to embarrass himself and this current suitors.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.