5 Reasons Why Bobby Petrino Was a Great Hire for Louisville Football
5 Reasons Why Bobby Petrino is a Good Choice for Louisville
I know what you're thinking. “This girl is crazy. Bobby Petrino is a questionable human being at best and Louisville made a huge mistake in hiring him.” Something like that, right? I agree that there are many reasons why hiring Petrino again could be considered a mistake for Louisville. However, I also know that Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich is a smart man, and he certainly had his reasons.
You might be thinking, “Isn't Bobby Petrino the same guy who was very publicly caught having an extramarital affair with a much younger employee and subsequently fired during his time at Arkansas?” Yes - same guy. It was also discovered that in addition to having an inappropriate relationship with said employee, Petrino also sat on the hiring committee and gave her preferential treatment during the interview process.
Before all that, he also made some very selfish decisions at Louisville during his first stint there as a head coach. Petrino secretly interviewed for the Auburn head-coaching job just a year after he came on board at Louisville. He also signed a 10-year extension with Louisville in 2006 only to bolt for the NFL six months later.
Once in the NFL, he coached the Atlanta Falcons for only 13 games before suddenly resigning and cowardly notifying his players with notes in their lockers.
Petrino has proven with past actions to be disloyal, undermining and self-serving. He has also, however, proven himself to be a very good football coach. Despite the laundry list of reasons to the contrary, here are the top five reasons why hiring Petrino back was a great move for Louisville.
5. He's a Proven Winner
Petrino had success at both Louisville and Arkansas. Under Petrino’s mentor John L. Smith, Louisville went 41-21 from 1998-2002. Petrino won the same number of games in one less year and recorded only nine losses. He also took the Cardinals to their first BCS bowl in 2006.
He led Arkansas to bowl games in three out of his four years, including one BCS bowl. He steered the Razorbacks to their first 11-win season since 1977.
4. Maybe He's Changed?
At Petrino's introductory press conference, Jurich said, "The one thing I believe in is forgiveness. Bobby has convinced me he's a changed man." Even though it seems unlikely that Petrino is a completely new person, it is reasonable to think that he may have learned from his past mistakes. While he very well might depart early once again, Petrino is unlikely to have another major media scandal. And on the point of leaving early, his first major media scandal really tarnished his image, and his stock is certainly lower than it used to be.
3. Big Media Splash
There's no such thing as bad publicity, right? After losing Charlie Strong to Texas, Louisville certainly got itself back in the media spotlight with this hire.
2. Great Offensive Mind
Although I do think the term "Quarterback Guru" is a bit overused, that is what the folks say about Petrino. In fact, he was brought into Atlanta specifically to work with Michael Vick and round out his abilities. He is generally thought to be a creative and intelligent offensive mind, and his results have shown that.
1. Builds Great Teams
Petrino may not build great programs, but he does build great teams. Strong left a good crop of talent behind, and if Louisville wanted a coach to come in and win with that talent right away then they made a good choice. Jurich no doubt wants to go into the move to the ACC next season with as strong a team as possible.