Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 1/9/14
The Louisville Cardinals have just made a major splash in the college football world with the recent announcement of the school’s next head coach – Western Kentucky’s Bobby Petrino. The hire is undoubtedly one which is sure to raise many eyebrows, considering that Petrino’s recent fall from grace has been well-documented. Petrino is most recently known for the notorious circumstances surrounding his much publicized and scrutinized exodus from Arkansas. With the Razorbacks, he was understandably regarded widely as one of the brightest offensive masterminds in the national landscape of college football. Arkansas enjoyed some rarely attained lofty heights under Petrino’s guidance, including a Sugar Bowl appearance and flirtations with the top ten national rankings. Such success enjoyed on the field had very clearly endeared Petrino to the Hogs’ fanbase and community, prompting some to suggest his viability as a candidate for governor in the Natural State. Yet all of the aforementioned goodwill displayed to Petrino was undone courtesy of an infamous motorcycle ride which revealed dishonest hiring practices as well as an apparent inappropriate affair with a subordinate. Bobby Petrino’s most recent detour to WKU was a tenure for him to demonstrate his contrite manner as well as his resolution to repair his damaged reputation. His recent hiring by UL serves to be a testament to his supreme coaching ability. Undeniably very few coaching counterparts could have rebounded the way he did in the aftermath of his well-documented dishonest and off-field transgressions. The Cards’ hiring of him goes to show that any prior missteps will ultimately be erased and forgiven, assuming that he again repeats his winning track record on the field and manages to avoid off-field pitfalls which have previously derailed his career. Prior to his very successful stint at Arkansas, Petrino showed his tremendous ability to construct a program at UL. Petrino’s previous tenure at Louisville was highlighted by his guiding the Cards to a Big East title and Orange Bowl title, a tenure in which he was renowned by fans and observers for producing very good offenses. Louisville made a major splash with its recent announcement of its hiring of Petrino. On the surface, the hire appears to be a risky hire of a coach who has demonstrated prior character flaws. Yet the hiring is also undisputedly one which could pay major dividends for the Cards, which are aiming to again win big. 7 total views, 7 views today
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