Louisville is going back to the well for the future of its football program.
The Cardinals are set to hire former Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino as the school’s new head coach, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports. Petrino previously led the program from 2003 to 2007, going 41-9 in four seasons and winning the Orange Bowl in 2007 before leaving the school to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He lasted just 13 games there, going 3-10, before resigning to take a job at the University of Arkansas.
Former Louisville head coach Charlie Strong left the school for the University of Texas job late last week. Athletic director Tom Jurichinterviewed seven candidates for the opening, and Petrino was at the top of his list, according to Forde.
Petrino, 52, was the head coach at Arkansas for four seasons, going 34-17 with two bowl victories, before being fired amid controversy before the 2012 season. It was revealed after a motorcycle accident that spring that Petrino was having an affair with an employee, Jessica Dorrell, whom he had hired for a position with the football team.
After a season away from the sidelines, Petrino was hired as the head coach of Western Kentucky late in 2012. He led the Hilltoppers to an 8-4 record in his lone season at the school, even taking down in-state rival Kentucky in his first game with the team.
Petrino is taking over a fully stocked Louisville program, which, thanks to Strong’s terrific recruiting, is ready to win right away as it enters the ACC next season. Louisville went 12-1 in 2013 behind quarterback and potential No. 1 overall pick Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has already declared for the NFL draft, forcing Petrino to find a new signal-caller for his team next season.