User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Western Kentucky hires Petrino as football coach

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - Now that Bobby Petrino is back in the coaching ranks, he wants to make the most of his second chance.

Advertisement
Petrino was introduced Monday as Western Kentucky's new head football coach. The 51-year-old was fired by Arkansas in April for a ``pattern of misleading'' behavior following an accident in which the coach was injured while riding a motorcycle with his mistress as a passenger.

``At this point in my career, it's about getting back and coaching players,'' Petrino said. ``It just happened to open up at a place we love.

``I hope it can be as long as possible.''

Petrino had a 34-17 record at Arkansas before he was dismissed in the wake of the scandal. Petrino had an affair with former Razorback volleyball player Jessica Dorrell, who he later hired as a football assistant had gave $20,000 in gifts. Petrino said initially he was the only person on the motorcycle but later admitted to Dorrell's presence.

``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 during a packed news conference at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

``I'm looking forward to the opportunity I'll be able to give student athletes when they make a mistake.''

Petrino is replacing Willie Taggart, who left WKU last week to become South Florida's coach.

Western Kentucky gave Petrino a four-year deal with a base annual salary of $850,000. If he terminates the deal at any time, he must re-pay the university $1.2 million in six monthly payments starting the month after he leaves.

Athletic director Todd Stewart knows he might get criticized for hiring Petrino.

He and Petrino had a long discussion over the weekend about the coach's past. Stewart said Petrino was candid and honest about his conduct and took responsibility for his actions. He said Petrino's contrition convinced him to give the coach a shot.

``What it comes down is that he made a big mistake and he acknowledges that and he's taken ownership of that,'' Stewart said. ``And he's paid a heavy price for it.

``But this is the United States of America, and we're a country of second chances. I was confident after talking with him and with other people that he deserved a second chance and we are more than happy to give it to him.''

Petrino, 75-26 overall as a college head coach, said he is looking forward to ``building on the foundation and standards'' that Taggart established.

Petrino had been looking to get back into coaching since he was let go by Arkansas. His name had been recently mentioned in connection with several openings, including Kentucky and Auburn.

He returns to the state where he successfully began his head coaching career. Petrino coached at Louisville from 2003-06, going 41-9 and leading the Cardinals to a 12-1 mark and their first-ever BCS berth in the Orange Bowl in 2006.

Now that he's back in the state, the coach said he and wife Becky ``consider this coming home.''

While at Louisville, Petrino was offered an NFL job and he left the Cardinals to become coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

He had a brief 13-game stint in 2007 with Atlanta. The Falcons stumbled to a 3-10 start before Petrino left for Arkansas, announcing his departure to players in a four-sentence laminated letter left at their lockers.

Arkansas had a losing record - 5-7 - in his first season. But Petrino and the Razorbacks improved each after that. They were to 8-5 in 2009, 10-3 with a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2010 and went 11-2 with a Cotton Bowl bid in 2011.

He takes over a 7-5 Western Kentucky team that's headed to its first bowl appearance as an FBS school. The Hilltoppers will play in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26 against Central Michigan.

WKU defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was named interim coach on Saturday and will coach the team in the bowl game.

Petrino will be hands-off until after the bowl game.

The new coach did meet with Hilltoppers players on Monday afternoon. Petrino expects the program to consistently win conference championships, bowl games and to compete for a BCS bowl berth.

Stewart believes Petrino can take WKU to the next level.

``I'm confident that he'll be here for a while and hope that he's here for a long time,'' Stewart said. ``No one person is bigger than the program, it's about the program. The important thing is that the program continues to develop and get better and go to places that its never been.

``You need a field general to give you the best chance to have that happen, and coach Petrino is the best one out there for us.''

---

AP Freelancer Writer Brad Stephens in Bowling Green contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: Opening Line Report - Bowls
Lousiville's Jackson wins Heisman
Army beats Navy to end series skid
EWU blanks Richmond, reach FCS semis
NDSU reverses SDSU, move into semis
Youngstown State ousts Wofford in 2 OTs
Mary Hardin-Baylor ends Mt. Union's streak
NW Missouri State wins, going to title game
D leads UW-Oshkosh past John Carroll
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB Hot Streaks
5-2 Run, 10-5 G-Plays, +1,885 TY
11-5 L16, 34-12 Streak, +1,841 TY
3-0 Saturday, 7-1 L8, 12-3 L15
8-1 Win Streak, 14-5 L19 Totals
4-1 Picks, 13-3 G-Plays, +1,653 TY
18-6 L5 Saturdays, 59% +1,543 TY
14-3 Last 17 G-Play Streak
+2,757 NCAA FB Over/Unders TY
7-3 L10 Picks, 13-4 L17 G-Plays
39-14 L5 Saturdays, 48-24 Streak
19-9 L4 Saturdays, 30-16 L46 Run
8-4 Sat., 19-7 GPlays, +2,353 Totals
28-14 L6 Saturdays, 31-15 Streak
14-6 CFB Record L20 Picks
9-4 L13 CFB Guarantees
4-0 Saturday, 7-1 L8, +1,036 TY
4-2 Saturday, 11-4 G-Plays TY
3-0 Week 14 Record
4-1 L5 Guaranteed Plays
11-4 L15 G-Plays, 17-9 L26 Picks
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks
2016 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1985
Joe Williams + 1941
Kyle Hunter + 1753
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 310
Bill Marzano + 200
Marc Lawrence + 100
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Rickenbach 59 %
Pat Hawkins 58 %
Kyle Hunter 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1084
Marc Lawrence + 1017
Kyle Hunter + 840
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2757
Micah Roberts + 2453
Kyle Hunter + 2101
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 605
Vince Akins + 605
Scott Rickenbach + 557
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership