Bobby Petrino Nothing More Than Short Term Solution

By Rick Stavig
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers were without a head coach less than a week before they found their new man.

Willie Taggart, who had coached the Hilltoppers for three seasons, left WKU for the same position with the South Florida Bulls .  No one can blame him – it’s a much better opportunity.  He’ll be in a BCS conference in the heart of one of the most fertile recruiting regions in the country.  So who’s the man to replace the recently departed Taggart?

None other than the infamous Bobby Petrino.

Petrino, who was fired amidst an adulterous scandal at Arkansas, is a questionable hire for the Hilltoppers, at least in my humble opinion.

Now, before you crucify me for not saying this is the best move the Hilltoppers could’ve ever made, hear me out.

I fully appreciate the caliber of coach Petrino is.  The man wins ball games.  There’s no denying that.  And I have no doubt whatsoever that Petrino will win games at WKU.  He’s a proven commodity.  His career record is an impressive 75-26 and has taken two separate teams to a BCS Bowl.  His offensive genius should make a mockery of Sun Belt defenses.  He was rumored to be the leading candidate at both Auburn and Kentucky before accepting WKU’s offer.  So how is this not a grand slam hiring by the WKU brass?

I only have one question for the men who hired Petrino: How long do you actually believe Petrino will stay in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to coach the Hilltoppers?

I’ll be surprised if Petrino stays at WKU more than a year, and simply stunned if he’s there more than two years.

Petrino has made a career out of bailing on teams.  Only six months after signing a ten-year, $25.6 million extension with Louisville, he jumped ship.  He left to coach the Atlanta Falcons.

The very next year, his first season with the Falcons, he jumped ship in the middle of the season to take the job at Arkansas.  How did he inform his players?  A four-sentence note left in each players locker.  Classy, Bobby, very classy.

Then, at Arkansas, he was fired after four seasons because he blatantly lied and covered up his affair with a woman less than half his own age.  Keep in mind, Petrino was/is a married father of four.  Classy, Bobby, very classy.

So now ol’ Bobby is starting over at WKU.  They should be a good stepping stone to the next job he takes.  He’ll have one or two very successful seasons with the Hilltoppers, then take a vacant BCS job, preferably in the SEC, where he publicly has indicated his desire to return to the nations toughest conference.

I understand on paper what the WKU brass saw in Petrino, I really do.  But they can’t honestly expect to keep him long-term.  I think they should have sought a candidate that they actually believed would stay at WKU for the long haul.  A coach that will bring stability to the program.  A coach with a shred of decency or loyalty.

That’s not what they’re getting in ol’ Bobby.  He’s the antithesis of stability and loyalty.

So, in the near future when ‘ol Bobby leaves the Hilltoppers (probably a few hours after signing a multiyear extension), you can count on me being the least bit surprised.

And then I’ll say it again: Classy, Bobby, very classy.

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