LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It's said that everything old is new again. For the second time, the University of Louisville has hired Bobby Petrino as the head football coach of the Cardinals.
At a press conference announcing his hiring, Petrino said, "This is my destination job." He also told the gathered media, "This is where I want to finish my career. I'm not sure how many people have the opportunity to start their career and come back and finish it. Emotionally I'm tied to doing that and contractually I'm tied to doing that."
UofL vice president of athletics Tom Jurich met with Petrino for nine hours on Tuesday, convinced that the temperamental coach is a changed man.
"If it was the same Bobby 8 years ago, I wasn't interested," Jurich said. "I had to be convinced of that. Do you have enough courage to look me in the eye and tell me you've changed, because I said if you lie to me, I'm gonna kill you."
Dr. James Ramsey, UofL president said the decision to hire Petrino was fully supported by the university.
Petrino, 52, leaves Western Kentucky University after one season to return to Louisville. He coached the Cardinals from 2003 to 2006 and led them to the first BCS appearance in the history of the school – winning the 2006 Orange Bowl.
Petrino left Louisville after that season to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. After 13 games in the 2007 season, Petrino resigned to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.
His four year coaching stop at Arkansas came to an end in April 2012 when he was fired after an affair with a female staff member and a scandal surrounding her hiring for a job in the athletic department.
Petrino became coach of the Hilltoppers in December 2012 replacing Willie Taggart, who left to take the head job at South Florida. He led the Toppers to an 8-4 record, but WKU was not invited to a bowl game.
In a statement, WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart said, "President Ramsey, Tom Jurich and the University of Louisville have made a tremendous hire, and I wish Bobby, Becky and the Petrino family much success and happiness in Louisville. Coach Petrino displayed a tireless work ethic throughout his 13 months as our head coach and was completely devoted to WKU football from the day he was hired. Our program benefited greatly from his presence, knowledge and leadership. He will do a terrific job leading the Louisville football program as they move into the Atlantic Coast Conference, and I am also confident he will take an already outstanding program to even loftier heights."
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