Missouri State hires Petrino as head football coach
Missouri State named Bobby Petrino as its head football coach on Wednesday.
The Bears will introduce Petrino, who previously coached Louisville, Arkansas and the Atlanta Falcons, at a news conference on Thursday.
He replaces Dave Steckel, who reached a separation agreement with the school last week.
It was while at Louisville that Petrino crossed paths with current Missouri State athletic director Kyle Moats, who was an associate athletic director at Louisville during part of Petrino's tenure as the football coach. Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported Petrino agreed to a five-year contract worth $250,000 per season.
Petrino, 58, arrives at Missouri State with a 119-56 career record along with a messy past.
His first head coaching position was at Louisville, where he worked from 2003-06 and compiled a 41-9 record, including seasons of 11-1 (2004) and 12-1 (2006). In July 2006, he signed a 10-year, $25.6 million contract at Louisville, but the following January, he took the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons.
In December 2007, with the Falcons at 3-10, Petrino resigned to take the position at Arkansas. He didn't hold a face-to-face meeting with Falcons' players, instead leaving a 78-word resignation letter at each of their lockers. At the time, it was reported he was called a "coward," "quitter" and "hypocrite" in the locker room.
Petrino coached the Razorbacks from 2008-11, posting a 34-17 record overall and leading the team to an 11-2 record, a Cotton Bowl victory and a season-ending No. 5 ranking in his final year.
In the following offseason, Arkansas fired Petrino after he was in a motorcycle accident with a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair. He had hired her to a position in the athletic department, and the school let him go after he misled officials about his relationship with an employee.
He coached Western Kentucky for one season in 2013 where the team went 8-4, then was rehired at Louisville, where he coached Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. The team posted a record above .500 each of the first four seasons in his return, but Petrino was fired in 2018 when the Cardinals were 2-8. The school bought out the remaining $14 million of his contract.
Petrino was out of football in 2019.
Steckel compiled a 13-42 record, marking the worst win percentage (.236) by a coach in school history (minimum 32 games). The Bears went 1-10 in 2019, matching the 2015 mark, Steckel's first season with the team. Among Missouri Valley Conference football coaches whose tenure was at least five seasons, his winning percentage is the worst in league history.
--Field Level Media
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.