Well, he's back. Oh-so-predictably, he's back.
Less than a year after he lost his job amid scandal at the University of Arkansas, Bobby Petrino has returned to the coaching business. On Monday, the hugely successful but highly controversial Petrino was named head coach at Western Kentucky, replacing Willie Taggart, who has moved on to South Florida. The hiring marks Petrino's return to coaching after his high-profile firing last summer--a firing that started with an extra-marital affair and ended with a motorcycle accident that the coach attempted, but failed, to cover up. In the end, he wasn't so much fired for unwise behavior as he was for lying about it.
In his introductory press conference at WKU, Petrino said he excited about the idea of "getting back and coaching players." He also hinted that he could use his fall from grace as a teaching tool for his players.
"I'm going to be able to sit down with mom and dad and the student-athlete and make them understand how this experience has made me a better coach, a better person and will make me understand their son better," Petrino said.
Whether or not that will prove true remains to be seen, of course. But this much seems certain: Petrino will win at Western Kentucky. He might win very, very big, actually.
Besides, Petrino's college record speaks for itself--he enjoyed enormous success at Louisville and appeared to be well on his way to turning Arkansas into a Top 10 power--and he'll have the added benefit of building from the very solid base already established by Taggart, who led WKU to back-to-back 7-5 seasons after a 2-10 record in his first year back in 2010.
From a strictly football perspective, this was a great hire for WKU.
As for the rest of it?
Well, we shall see.
Photo: Getty Images