Posted: Dec 10, 2012 4:20 PM by MTN Sports
Eight months after being fired by the University of Arkansas, Helena-native Bobby Petrino has found a new job. Sources with CBSSports.com reported Monday morning that Petrino, the former Carroll College quarterback and offensive coordinator, has been hired by Western Kentucky University.
"I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to become Western Kentucky's head coach," said Petrino. He went on to add that the decision was made with his family. He also said he has spent the past eight months in counseling and repairing his family relationships.
Petrino was fired from Arkansas in April following a motorcycle crash that eventually led to details of an affair with Razorback volleyball player Jessica Dorrell. Petrino hired Dorrell as a football assistant and reportedly gave her $20,000 in gifts. The original police report stated that Petrino was alone during the motorcycle wreck, but details came out that Dorrell was indeed present during the crash. At the time Petrino stated he was trying to protect his family.
Petrino now returns to Kentucky, the state he began his head coaching career with the Louisville Cardinals. He posted a 41-9 record and led the team to the 2006 Orange Bowl.
That success was noticed by the National Football League and Petrino bolted to the Atlanta Falcons in 2007. Following a dismal 3-10 start, Petrino dismissed himself from the head coaching position, leaving just a letter on players lockers with the announcement.
His tenure at Arkansas started rough with a 5-7 record, but the Razorbacks would continue to get better each year. Petrino finished 34-17 at Arkansas, including trips to the Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl in 2010 and 2011. Many wondered whether Petrino would wait for another "big" FBS job to open up or if Petrino would head to a smaller school. In the end Petrino said, "football has never been a job for me. It's always been a way of life ... It was time to get back into what we all know and love."
Western Kentucky finished 7-5 this past season and will play in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl. Hilltopper athletic director Todd Stewart said Petrino was exactly what the program was looking for. He joked during Monday's press conference that "there are more people here (press conference) than we saw at the games all year."
When asked about his future with Western Kentucky, Petrino responded "You never know what the future holds. We hope to be here as long as possible."