Missouri State University officially introduced Bobby Petrino as its new head football coach in a news conference at JQH Arena on the Springfield campus Thursday.
Petrino has previously served as head coach in two stints at Louisville as well as Arkansas and Western Kentucky. He has compiled a 119-56 record in 14 seasons at the NCAA Division I FBS level and led his programs to 11 bowl appearances with seven teams ranked in the top 25 at season’s end. His employment agreement with Missouri State is a five-year contract with a base salary of $250,000 per year, in addition to a number of performance and incentive bonuses.
“I’m excited for this opportunity and the chance to rejuvenate the fan base at Missouri State,” said Petrino. “They are hungry for winning football, and we’ll do everything in our power to give that to them. With the support of the administration and the community, there is so much potential here.”
His clubs have finished in the top five nationally in scoring offense three times, while his 2004 club at Louisville led the country in scoring at 49.8 points per game. He has developed 34 NFL Draft selections during his career, including four in the first round, and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.
His first stint at Louisville (2003-06) boasted 41 wins over a four-year span in the first head coaching assignment of his career with four bowl appearances in four seasons. Petrino directed the Cardinals to their first BIG EAST title in 2006, Louisville’s second year in the league. He stepped away from college football in 2007 to coach the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons for less thana season, then returned to guide the Arkansas Razorbacks for four years, from 2008-11. In Fayetteville, Petrino’s squads were 34-17.
Petrino was fired prior to the 2012 season for lying about an extra-marital affair he was having with a school employee.
Petrino go back in the game for the 2013 season as head coach at Western Kentucky, where he helped WKU finish 8-4 while closing the season with a four-game winning streak. The Hilltoppers also set a new school record for total offense (5,502 yards) and passing first downs (141) in a season. His return to Louisville in 2014 was immediately successful, guiding the Cardinals to a 9-4 year out of the gates before reeling off four consecutive bowl appearances and another 9-4 campaign in 2016. In his nine total seasons in Louisville, Petrino’s Cardinals were 77-35 overall and 45-24 in conference games (CUSA, Big East and ACC).
Petrino and his wife Becky have four children: Kelsey, Nick, Bobby and Katie — and six grandchildren.
Listen to his full press conference Q & A. Check back on Friday for my one-on-one conversation with Coach Petrino.