A 'changed' Petrino at 'destination' job

Bobby Petrino was introduced as the head football coach at the University of Louisville for a second time on Thursday. Petrino, who was at U of L from 2003-06, takes over for Charlie Strong. He signed a seven-year deal that will pay him $3.5 million a year. Cardinal Authority has the latest from Petrino.

It didn't take Bobby Petrino 30 seconds to start explaining himself when he was introduced as the University of Louisville football coach on Thursday.

"The first mistake I made was leaving here," Petrino said.

Now, the 52-year-old Petrino is getting a second chance with the Cardinals. The head coach at U of L from 2003-06, Petrino was re-hired and official introduced on Thursday to the media and later to the fans.

"It's great to be back home," Petrino said, with his wife, Becky, and three of his kids, Nick, Bobby Jr., and Katie, sitting just behind him as he answered questions from the media for nearly a half an hour.

"I've made mistakes professionally and personally," Petrino said. "Something I'm not going to do again. . . . I want everyone here to know this is my destination job. This is our home. I am so excited to come back."

Petrino signed a seven-year deal worth $3.5 million a year. He was 41-9 during his first stint at U of L and is 83-30 as a college head coach.

"I think Tom understands, this is where I want to finish my career," said Petrino, noting he has a $10 million buyout.

Petrino answered a lot of questions about his past transgressions. He flirted with other jobs while he was at U of L and then left for the Atlanta Falcons after signing a 10-year contract with the Cardinals.

He then left the Falcons after a 3-10 season and went to Arkansas where he was gone after four years and a tough ending, which including a scandal.

"I've changed a lot," Petrino said, who referred to himself several times as a "changed person." He also noted his family has helped change him.

"We've been through that process and it took a long time," Petrino said of his family time. "Like the university talks about upward trajectory, that's what we're going to continue to do as a family."

Petrino was peppered with questions the entire time about what has changed with him and how he can prove it.

"You come right out and say it: I have no interest in going anywhere else," he said. "Your goals change. At one time my goal was to do a great job and win Conference USA and then it was to win the Big East. At one time I thought I wanted to coach in the NFL. You see the goals change.

I've also really realized that the greatest reward in a job isn't so much the winning, but it's teaching young men to excel and get the most out of their ability."

During his first stop at U of L, Petrino directed the program to a bowl game each year, including the school's first BCS bowl – the 2006 Orange Bowl. The 41 wins over that four-year span were the most in school history and featured an average margin of victory of 26 points a game.

Coupling his success at Louisville and Arkansas, Petrino has led his teams to seven bowl games in nine years, including both Louisville's and Arkansas' first BCS bowl games. His programs have achieved four 10-win seasons along with top-10 finishes nationally three times. His 2006 Louisville squad and 2011 Arkansas team concluded with No. 5 rankings in the Associated Press polls. He also had 14 players picked in the NFL Draft during his time at U of L.

Now, he's back to do it again.

And this time, it's a changed Bobby Petrino and one that plans on sticking around a long time.

"I'll always have a sign in our locker room that says, 'It's a show-me world,'" Petrino said. "It'll be up to me to show it."

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