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Bobby Petrino set to return to Arkansas as offensive coordinator years after scandal: report

Ryan Gaydos
Fox News
November 28, 2023 8:16pm EST


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The Arkansas Razorbacks are reportedly bringing back a familiar face to the football program’s coaching staff under Sam Pittman.

The team agreed to hire Bobby Petrino as the team’s offensive coordinator, ESPN reported Tuesday. He is reportedly expected to be on campus as early as Wednesday. The school decided to bring back Pittman following the team’s disappointing 4-7 season.

April 3, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino speaks at a press conference at Razorback Stadium following a motorcycle accident he sustained on April 1. (Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports)

Petrino was as successful a coach could get with Arkansas without having a national championship on his resume. He coached the Razorbacks from 2008 to 2011 and led them to 10-win seasons, which included Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl appearances. In 2011, Arkansas finished the season with a Cotton Bowl win and ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll.

However, his career at Arkansas crashed and burned.

Head Coach Bobby Petrino of the Arkansas Razorbacks argues with the officials during a game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 25, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Petrino was fired in 2012 in wake of a massive scandal following a motorcycle crash. It was revealed Petrino was with the woman he hired as a student-athlete developmental coordinator for the football program after he initially said he was alone. He later admitted he was having an affair with the woman.

He famously showed up to a press conference with a bruised face and neck collar and was later dismissed with cause as school officials determined he misled the athletic director and the public about his relationship with the woman.


Sep 17, 2022; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks fans hold up a banner of Missouri State Bears head coach Bobby Petrino during a game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. (Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports)

Petrino returned to coaching in late 2012 when he became the head coach of Western Kentucky. He coached the Hilltoppers to an 8-4 record in 2013 and returned to Louisville and coached the Cardinals from 2014 to 2018.

Before returning to Arkansas, Petrino served under Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. But he was reportedly told he would not be retained under new head coach Mike Elko.

Petrino is 119-56 in his collegiate career as a head coach.

Ryan Gaydos is a senior editor for Fox News Digital.

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