I believe in second chances, but not thirds and fourths.
You may have forgotten, but Louisville coach Bobby Petrino will be walking the sidelines Saturday at Kenan Stadium for his second stint with the Cardinals. He was hired back by the school despite having compiled a scurrilous resume, applying for jobs like an addict and leaving a trail of lying.
Petrino has a 109-42 record as a head coach. During his 20-plus years in the profession, he has also left eight coaching jobs after only one season to develop one of the shadier reputations in college and pro football. For example:
He was offensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL for the 2001 season before taking the same position with the Auburn Tigers. He left without telling Jags head coach Tom Coughlin, who apparently read about it in the newspaper. The two coaches haven’t spoken since.
After one year at Auburn, he accepted the Louisville head coaching job. Then came his famous secret meeting with Auburn officials about replacing the yet-to-be-fired Tommy Tuberville. Petrino lied about all that until being outed by two local newspaper reporters. Louisville kept him because his last team was 9-3 and averaged a gazillion points on offense.
He fessed up and Louisville athletic Director Tom Jurich stuck with him until Petrino bolted to be head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, before fleeing that post 13 games into his first season and doing so by leaving a 78-word note for his players, most of whom denounced him (that’s a nice word for it).
On to Arkansas, where he was fired after being caught with the school’s former volleyball star and blond football grad assistant on the back of his motorcycle with whom he later admitted to having an affair. Story getting familiar now?
Petrino got yet another job at Western Kentucky, stayed one year and returned to – guess where – Louisville, which had to let a lot of bygones be bygones. Jurich is still the AD there, but his moral compass had dealt with basketball coach Rick Pitino’s personal sex scandal and later an assistant coach hiring hookers to help the Cards with their hoops recruiting.
Then came the Wakeyleaks scouting scandal and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Get the picture of what really counts at the ‘Ville? Bobby Petrino, the coach with nine lives.