U of L had inked Petrino to a three-year contract extension on March 4, which boosted his association with the U of L program through the 2010 season. The recent enhancements provide increases in his salary, achievement bonuses and completion bonuses for the remaining five years of the agreement.
Petrino, 19-5 in two seasons with the Cardinals, has guided the U of L program into national prominence with the school's No.7 ranking, the highest in school history, and has been in the polls for a school record 12-straight weeks.
Petrino has guided the Cardinals to one of its most memorable seasons in school history, his second as a head coach. The Helena, Montana native directed the Cardinals to a 10-1 record, a school-record seventh-straight bowl appearance, and the school's third Conference USA Championship. For his efforts, the second-year head coach was named the league's Coach of the Year. Under his guidance, senior quarterback Stefan LeFors was named the league's Co-Offensive Player of the Year and is on pace to set the NCAA record for completion percentage and passing efficiency. Freshman quarterback Brian Brohm was named the Freshman of the Year.
He has established himself as one of the top offensive minds in the country, as the Cardinals lead the country in total offense and scoring offense. The Cardinals also became the first team in NCAA history to score 55 points in five straight games and have scored more than 50 points seven times this season. U of L has set six offensive school records, including a school-best 553 points, team-record 50.3 points per game and 74 touchdowns scored.
Petrino's entertaining product excited U of L fans with a 5-0 record at home in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium this season, and a 10-1 mark in his first two years with the Cardinals.
The 43-year-old Petrino is no stranger to the Derby City, having served as the Cards' offensive coordinator during the 1998 season when U of L led the nation in total offense and was fifth in scoring offense. During that season, Petrino's high-octane offense rewrote the Cardinal record book, establishing school records for scoring, scoring average, touchdowns, passing touchdowns and total yards while helping the Cards post the top turnaround (six games) among Division I-A schools.
Petrino returned to U of L after a four-year hiatus in which he spent two seasons coaching the quarterbacks and another as the offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.
During his tenure with the Jaguars, Petrino tutored Mark Brunnell to three of his best passing seasons in his illustrious career. Brunnell threw for 3,640 yards in 2000, which was the second-highest total in team history, and 3,309 yards in Petrino's only term as the offensive coordinator with the Jaguars in 2001.
After his three seasons in the NFL, Petrino took over as the offensive coordinator during the 2002 season at Auburn University. The Tigers finished the 2002 season with an 9-4 mark and led the Southeastern Conference in pass efficiency and third down conversions while also ranking third in the league in scoring offense, rushing offense and total offense en route to 13-9 victory over Penn State in the Capitol One Bowl.
Before taking the reigns of the Cards' offense in 1998, Petrino served as the offensive coordinator at Utah State from 1995-97, transforming a program which averaged a little more than 300 yards per contest into an offensive juggernaut which established a USU record with 468.5 yards of total offense per game during the '96 season.
Prior to joining the Utah State staff, Petrino spent the 1994 season at the University of Nevada as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His one season with the Wolfpack saw his unit rate second nationally in passing and total offense, averaging more than 330 yards passing and 500 yards of total offense per game. Nevada also averaged 37.6 points per game to finish third nationally in scoring offense. Petrino spent two years at Arizona State as quarterbacks coach from 1992-93, working with Heisman Trophy candidate Jake Plummer.
Petrino began his coaching career at his alma mater, Carroll College, in 1983 as a graduate assistant. Following his one-year stint at Weber State, Petrino returned to Carroll as offensive coordinator and produced the NAIA's top-ranked offense in both '85 and '86. A two-time NAIA All-American quarterback at Carroll, Petrino guided the Fighting Saints to three consecutive Frontier Conference championships and was named the league's most valuable player in '81 and '82.
Born March 10, 1961 in Lewiston, Mont., Petrino received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Carroll in 1983. He is married to the former Becky Schaff and the couple has four children - Kelsey, Dominic, Bobby and Katie.