As it turns out, many fans don’t care who former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino had on the back of his motorcycle when he crashed during the offseason. The accident, which occurred in April and included 25-year-old Arkansas football staffer Jessica Dorrell, ultimately led to Arkansas firing Petrino. Well, shortly into the current season, Arkansas fans were already clamoring for Petrino to return. The Arkansas Razorbacks are struggling under head coach John L. Smith. While Petrino is on the outs with the Arkansas administration, fanbases from numerous other programs are also pushing for Petrino.
These days, Bobby Petrino has a very strong social media presence. The Bring Bobby Petrino back to Arkansas in 2013 Community Page on Facebook has garnered over 19,000 “Likes” since its creation on August 9. While stranger things have happened (haven’t they?), Petrino’s return to Arkansas is very unlikely. But Arkansas fans aren’t the only ones wishing for a Petrino-coached team in 2013.
Petrino’s accident left the Arkansas administration feeling embarrassed. At the same time, college football fans around the country took notice and saw the high-profile coach as suddenly being without a team.
Kentucky’s dismal 1-3 start has head coach Joker Phillips’ job in jeopardy. Many members of Kentucky’s Big Blue Nation are lobbying for Petrino, who still has ties to the state. His oldest daughter, Kelsey, graduated from the University of Louisville. His oldest son, Nick, currently attends Louisville. His youngest daughter, Katie, also attends Louisville, where she is a member of the golf team.
Petrino led Arkanas to a top-five finish in 2011. The Razorbacks exited 2011 11-2 following a win in the Cotton Bowl. Petrino, who owns a 75-26 overall career record, excelled throughout his tenure as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. The productive Petrino compiled a 41-9 record as head coach of the Louisville football team. His four-year stint as Louisville head coach included two one-loss seasons, both of which ended with the Cardinals being ranked no lower than seventh in either of the major polls. Louisville went 12-1 in 2006.
If countless fans could decide, they’d put Petrino on their team’s sideline in 2013. College administrators, however, might not feel the same way.