FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Not sure if anyone had this selected on their bingo card, but former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino could be in line to return to town … as Sam Pittman’s offensive coordinator. Multiple media outlets are reporting late Tuesday afternoon it’s a done deal.
— Pig Trail Nation (@PigTrailNation) November 28, 2023
The story was first reported by ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Monday morning and it picked up steam throughout the day with various outlets reporting the former Razorbacks coach from 2008-11 was reportedly in the state of Arkansas, but those could not be confirmed.
Petrino did guide the Hogs to 10 wins in 2010 and 11 wins in 2011 before a motorcycle accident April 1, 2012, led to an investigation by former athletics director Jeff Long. He fired Petrino on April 10 for misconduct “with cause.” The Hogs really haven’t come close to matching that level of success since.
There are those in favor of the hire and others that won’t like it, but Sam Pittman may be willing to do it. After three years of Kendal Briles as coordinator, Dan Enos was brought in and didn’t make it to Halloween, getting dumped after a 7-3 loss to Mississippi State in October.
With the transfer portal and a ton of other factors in place, making projections on who he will have available to work with are just shots in the dark at this point. Petrino has been successful getting yards and lighting up scoreboards wherever he went.
In 2010, Petrino’s third year, the Razorbacks were second in the SEC in scoring offense at 36.5 points per game and in total offense at 482.5 yards per game. In 2011, his final season, the Razorbacks ranked No. 1 in the SEC in points per game at 36.8 and No. 1 in yards per game at 438.1.
Arkansas would have had to find a way around the “UA Systemwide policies and procedures” and how they pertain to “Termination of Employment,” which says:
“Under Board Policy 405.6, Termination of Employment at the University of Arkansas, an employee who has been dismissed for cause or who has been designated by their campus, unit, or division as not eligible for re-hire shall not be eligible for re-employment within any of the University of Arkansas System’s campuses, units, or divisions. The following procedure is established in furtherance of this policy.”
Nothing has been officially announced by the UA, but there is far too much going on for there not to be something about it.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.