Jurich gets man, Petrino new football coach

Tom Jurich gets his man again. Current Auburn Offensive Coordinator Bobby Petrino will be named the 19th head football coach at the University of Louisville. Petrino replaces John L. Smith who left for Michigan State last week.

Petrino named UofL Head Coach

Immediately upon receiving the news that John L. Smith had accepted the position of head coach at Michigan State, U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich turned his focus on the search for a high-quality replacement. Jurich stated that he was looking for someone that believed in a high-powered passing offense, strong work ethic and someone that would be a perfect fit for the Louisville program.

Tom Jurich found that person in Bobby Petrino. Petrino, who spent this past season as the offensive coordinator for the Auburn Tigers, is a familiar name to Cardinal fans. He was a member of John L. Smith's first staff at UofL that transformed a 1-10 team from the year prior into one that received an invitation to the Motor City Bowl. During his one year as a member of the Cardinals coaching staff as the offensive coordinator, Petrino's offense set new offensive marks in the Louisville record books, most of which still remained untouched.

Petrino has served as an offensive coordinator for more than ten years at the collegiate level and spent three years coaching with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars under Tom Caughlin.  Petrino served as the Jaguars quarterback's coach in 1999 and 2000 where he worked with QB Mark Brunell and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2001, his third and final season in Jacksonville.  Petrino has served as a collegiate offensive coordinator at Carroll College (Montana)- Petrino's alma mater, Idaho (1989-91), Nevada (1994), Utah State (1995-97), Louisville (1998) and most recently Auburn (2002).

As a collegiate offensive coordinator, three of Petrino's offensive units led the nation in total offense - Carroll College led the NAIA  in 1985 and 1986, Idaho had the top NCAA Division 1AA offense in the country in 1989, and his 1998 Louisville offense,  led by Baltimore Raven quarterback Chris Redman led the nation in total offense with more than 500 yards per game.  That Louisville offensive unit was perhaps the schools most balanced and explosive, featuring a 4,000 yard passer (Chris Redman), 1,000 yard receiver (Arnold Jackson) and a 1,000 yard rusher (Leroy Collins).  His 1994 Nevada team finished second in the nation in total offense and featured a 3,000 yard passer, 1,000 yard receiver and 1,000 yard rusher.  This season, Auburn ranked third in the SEC in total yards (396.7), scoring (31.2) and rushing (204 ypg) and finished the regular season ranked among the nations top 25 teams.

Petrino began his coaching career in 1983 as a graduate assistant at Carroll College and spent one season as the quarterbacks coach at Weber State in 1984. He returned to Carroll College as offensive coordinator producing the NAIA's top offense in 1985 and 1986. In 1987, Coach Petrino returned to Weber State, where he coached  tight ends and wide receivers for two seasons. He spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator at the University of Idaho and two seasons as the quarterback coach at Arizona State, where he coached current Arizona Cardinal quarterback Jake Plummer.

Petrino attended Carroll College in Helena, Mont., where earned NAIA All-America as a quarterback and led the team to three consecutive Frontier Conference championships.  Petrino was named Frontier Conference Most Valuable Player in 1981 and 1982. He received a degree in mathematics and physical education from Carroll College in 1983.

Petrino replaces John L. Smith, who departed for the head coaching job at Michigan State last Thursday.  Petrino comes from a football family as his father, Bob, was inducted into the NAIA Coaches Hall of Fame after 29 years as head coach at Carroll College. Bob Petrino's brother, Paul, is in his third season as the QB coach at Southern Mississippi and also served as wide receiver coach at UofL in 1998.

Coach Bob Petrino was born March 10, 1961 in Lewiston, Montana.  He is married to the former Becky Schaff.  The Petrino's have four children.

NFL Quarterbacks Coach Bob Petrino developed in college

  • 1999 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award winner - Chris Redman - Louisville / Baltimore Ravens
  • Walter Payton award winner - John Freisz - Idaho / Seattle Seahawks
  • Walter Payton award winner- Doug Nussmeier - Idaho
  • Jake Plummer - Arizona State / Arizona

Coach Bob Petrino's bowl experience

  • 1997    Humanitarian Bowl - Utah State
  • 1998    Motor City Bowl - Louisville
  • 2000    Pro Bowl

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