The Tennessee Volunteers may be ready to part ways with head coach Derek Dooley. The Auburn Tigers may be poised to move on from Gene Chizik. The same may be true of the Kentucky Wildcats in regards to Joker Phillips. While Bobby Petrino may be a head coach who has SEC coaching experience, should Tennessee, Auburn or Kentucky, or any other school for that matter, hire Petrino after everything that has happened with the former coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks?
The answer should be a resounding no.
Petrino may know what he is doing when it comes to coaching in the world of college football. He had no idea what to do in the National Football League, as was clearly evident in his one year with the Atlanta Falcons in which he quit after the first 13 games. But he can coach college football.
He was a very good coach with the Louisville Cardinals before his failed NFL stint with the Dirty Birds, but Petrino returned to CFB to take over as head coach of the Razorbacks. Petrino’s run at Louisville culminated in a Sugar Bowl victory in the 2011 season, only to end abruptly after finding out what Petrino was doing in his off time away from the football field.
Arkansas fired Petrino – and rightfully so – after learning of his involvement with a former Razorbacks’ volleyball player with whom he was romantically involved. Petrino and the young woman – who he also helped land a lucrative job with at Louisville – were involved in a motorcycle accident that led to his dismissal as the school’s head football coach.
It was nice to see a school finally send a strong message that what you do away from the game matters. Negative actions will not – and should not – be tolerated, regardless of how good of a coach you are at any level. Arkansas did something that many other college athletic directors are scared to do. He fired a good coach who set a poor example.
With all of that, there is still a strong chance that Petrino will receive yet another opportunity to coach in the college ranks again one day, and it may not be too far off either.
Personally, I would not be surprised if Petrino receives a few phone calls after this season. Maybe not from Tennessee. Maybe not from Auburn. Maybe not from Kentucky. But someone will reach out to him if they still feel that he can turn around a college football program in a relatively short matter of time.
I, for one, would rather see schools skip over Petrino’s name altogether. In my opinion, this guys has already received at least one too many chances, only to fail in one way or another at the end of the road in each case.
When it comes to hiring Petrino, college football programs should just say no.