Western Kentucky athletic director Todd Stewart is taking a chance with Bobby Petrino, who was introduced today as the new head coach at Western Kentucky.Stewart knows he’s hiring a proven winner and a coach respected by his peers but also a coach carrying heavy baggage and many napalmed bridges.
Ask Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich who did his best to make Petrino one of the highest paid coaches in college football. Petrino constantly pledged his commitment to Louisville while secretly meeting with other schools about their job openings.After signing a lucrative deal with Louisville during the 2006 season Jurich saw Petrino bolt for the NFL after receiving a 5 year, 24 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
Ask Falcons owner Arthur Blank if that was a wise investment. Petrino didn’t even stay his first season bolting for Arkansas after giving his word to Blank that “You have a head coach.”At least Arkansas did the next day and the Falcons were in limbo.
Finally ask Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long. Who saw Petrino elevate the Razorback football program only to see a motorcycle accident take a, pardon the pun, a complete left turn.It uncovered an extra marital affair with Jessica Dorrell who had been hired by Petrino as Student-Athlete Development Coordinator.
To make a long story short Petrino never owned up to his mistakes and Long had no choice but to fire him.Todd Stewart is now Petrino’s boss and obviously is aware of his employment history but you can’t blame him for this hire. Willie Taggart had upgraded the Hilltopper program and became a hot commodity one South Florida landed.
Bobby Petrino was looking to rehabilitate his career, Stewart wanted to keep the momentum going with the football program.In a way I guess the two parties needed each other but will this one end badly too.