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IT’S OFFICIAL! Razorbacks bringing Bobby Petrino back

Hogs bringing former coach back 11 years after he was fired in tumultous ending of last successful run in football.

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has hired Bobby Petrino to be the Razorbacks’ next offensive coordinator. The information that has been swirling about for a couple of days was finally made official Wednesday morning.

Petrino, Arkansas’ head coach from 2008-11, is widely regarded as one of the nation’s elite offensive minds over the last 40 years of his coaching career. He has served as offensive coordinator for seven different collegiate programs, including last season at Texas A&M.

With the Aggies, Petrino’s offense averaged 34.2 points per game (25th in FBS, 5th in SEC) while averaging 403.8 yards per game despite losing starting quarterbacks Conner Weigman and Max Johnson to injury during the season. In his lone season with the Aggies, Petrino’s offense helped lead the program back to bowl eligibility marking the 18th time in his career to help a team to the postseason.

In his 14 seasons as a head coach at five different stops, including Louisville (2003-06, 2014-18), the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons (2007), Arkansas (2008-11), Western Kentucky (2013) and most recently at FCS level Missouri State (2020-22), Petrino has compiled a record of 119-56.

As the coach of the Razorbacks, he led the program to a 34-17 mark in four seasons with bowl berths in the 2010 Liberty Bowl, 2011 Sugar Bowl and 2012 Cotton Bowl. The Hogs went 10-3 in 2010 with the program’s only BCS Bowl appearance at the Sugar Bowl before finishing ranked 12th in the AP Poll.

Arkansas’ 2011 team was even better, finishing 11-2 with a Cotton Bowl victory over Kansas State to end the year ranked 5th in the AP poll. The team’s 11 victories are the most by an Arkansas team and the team’s final ranking in the Top 5 are the best since Lou Holtz’s 1977 squad finished 11-1 and ranked 3rd in the final AP Poll.

In his first stint at Louisville, Petrino was 41-9 during those four seasons. His 2004 team led the nation in total offense (539.0 ypg) and scoring offense (49.8 ppg) while posting 50+ points in seven games and setting a NCAA record by scoring 55+ points in five straight games en route to an 11-1 record and an appearance in the Gator bowl.

Petrino’s resume also has NFL coaching experience, having served as the Falcons head coach in 2007 and as an offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2001), while also working with the Jaguars’ quarterbacks (1999-2001).

At the collegiate level, Petrino has worked with quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends, while also coordinating offenses for Idaho (1990-91), Arizona State (1992-93), Nevada (1994), Utah State (1995-97), Louisville (1998) and Auburn (2002). He helped the Auburn Tigers to a 9-4 record and a 5-3 mark in the SEC, finishing No. 14 in the Associated Press Poll in 2002.

Petrino worked with quarterback Jake Plummer at ASU before Plummer went on to a successful NFL career. At Nevada, Petrino had the nation’s No. 2 passing and total offensive unit. As the offensive coordinator with the Utah State Aggies in 1996, Petrino set school records for total offense (468.5) and passing yards (317.5). His 1998 Louisville offense led the FBS in scoring and total offense.

The longtime coach has also produced elite, next level talent during his career, coaching 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and current Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson while at Louisville. With the Hogs, he tutored two of the best quarterbacks in school history in the late Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson.

He also coached a trio of national award winners in Joe Adams (2011 Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers Award), DJ Williams (2010 Mackey Award and Disney Spirit Award) and Jonathan Luigs (2007 Rimington Trophy). Arkansas’ top three wide receivers – Cobi Hamilton, Jarius Wright and Joe Adams – on the all-time receptions list all played under Petrino with Wright still holding the receiving yards school record with 2,934 yards.

Petrino is the son of legendary Carroll College coach Bob Petrino Sr. The younger Petrino began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1983 for his father in Helena, Montana. After one season with Weber State as a graduate assistant, Petrino returned to coordinate the offense for Carroll College from 1985-86 – his first offensive coordinator job.

The younger Petrino played for his father at Carroll, twice earning NAIA All-America honors and helping lead the squad to three straight conference championships. He was named the league’s MVP in 1981 and 1982. He also played four years of basketball at Carroll while earning his degree in physical education with a minor in mathematics in 1983.

Petrino and his wife, Becky, have four children: Kelsey, Nick, Bobby and Katie, along with eight grandchildren.

The Petrino File

Birthdate: March 10, 1961

Hometown: Lewiston, Montana

College: Carroll College, 1983 BA, Physical Education
Family: Wife, Becky; Daughters – Kelsey and Katie; Sons – Nick and Bobby

Coaching Experience

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1983 Carroll College (Graduate Assistant)

1984 Weber State (Graduate Assistant)

1985-86 Carroll College (Offensive Coordinator)

1987-88 Weber State (WRs/TEs)

1989 Idaho (QBs)

1990-91 Idaho (Offensive Coordinator)

1992-93 Arizona State (QBs)

1994 Nevada (Offensive Coordinator/QBs)

1995-97 Utah State (Offensive Coordinator)

1998 Louisville (Offensive Coordinator)

1999-00 Jacksonville Jaguars (QBs)

2001 Jacksonville Jaguars (Offensive Coordinator)

2002 Auburn (Offensive Coordinator)

2003-06 Louisville (Head Coach)

2007 Atlanta Falcons (Head Coach)

2008-11 Arkansas (Head Coach)

2013 Western Kentucky (Head Coach)

2014-18 Louisville (Head Coach)

2020-22 Missouri State (Head Coach)

2023 Texas A&M (Offensive Coordinator)

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