Bobby Petrino’s tenure as the head football coach at the University of Arkansas did not end well. Now he is set to return to Fayetteville for the first time on the funniest weekend possible.
Petrino, who coached the Hogs from 2008 through 2011, went 34-17. In his last two seasons with Arkansas, Petrino went 10-3 with a loss in the Sugar Bowl and 11-2 with a win in the Cotton Bowl. He was very successful.
So why was he fired? Well, you might remember this image:
In April of 2012, Petrino was involved in a motorcycle accident and was badly injured. Initially, he said that he was riding alone, but he wasn’t. He lied. A lot.
A large part of press conference after the accident was pretty much false. Or, at least, not true.
Petrino was riding his motorcycle with former Razorbacks volleyball player Jessica Dorrell, whom he had hired a month prior as student-athlete development coordinator with the football program. Oh, and the two were also engaging in an extramarital affair.
Shortly after the accident, Petrino was placed on an indefinite leave of absence. And then he was fired after an investigation, because, well, he was sleeping with one of his staffers who was a former student-athlete. He also gave her $20,000 in cash as a Christmas gift. Not great.
Petrino tried his best to mislead Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long and the public about what happened, but he failed. The details came out and he was terminated with cause by the university.
Bobby Petrino returns to Arkansas this weekend.
Since being fired by Arkansas in 2012, Petrino managed to land on his feet. That’s what happens when you win football games.
After a season off, Petrino took over as head coach at Western Kentucky and went 8-4. He led the school to the lowest team GPA in its 100-year athletic history while in Bowling Green.
Petrino was then hired by Louisville in 2014. He coached Lamar Jackson during his Heisman Trophy-winning season.
However, he could never get the Cardinals to take the next step. Petrino never won more than nine games at Louisville and was fired at going 2-8 in 2018. His fate was all-but sealed when he ripped into the players in the locker room after a close loss to Florida State and lost the team. He did not win another game that season.
Now, four years later, Petrino is in his third year as the head coach at FCS program Missouri State. The Bears have reached the playoffs in both seasons but lost in the first round of the playoffs both times.
This year, through two games, they are undefeated. And now Petrino’s team is rolling into the place that he left disgraced in 2012.
The storyline is incredible, but the Razorbacks’ scheduling decision makes it even better. It’s Family Weekend in Fayetteville.
Arkansas is welcoming back its former coach who was once fired for lying about an affair after a motorcycle accident on Family Weekend. You can’t write it any better!