Bobby Petrino Is Perfect for the Illinois Fighting Illini

Sean McDermott@SMcDermott29Contributor IIIApril 12, 2012

CHARLOTTE - NOVEMBER 11:  Head coach Bobby Petrino of the Atlanta Falcons looks on during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 11, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

We can all agree that Bobby Petrino is a sneaky, manipulative, cheating snake, but he is still a great coach.

I firmly believe that University of Illinois AD Mike Thomas should pursue signing Petrino. 

I understand that this sounds crappy, but Tim Beckman is not the right person for the Illini football program. U of I fans have been waiting for a coach that can turn a program around and win.

Petrino started his program-changing ways at Louisville in 2003. Four years later, Petrino left the Cardinals with a 41-9 record.

After a failed attempt in the NFL, Petrino signed on to become the head coach of the SEC-afterthought Arkansas program. It took him just one season to turn the Razorbacks into a contender in the SEC and national championship pictures. Before his firing, Petrino compiled an 34-17 record with the Razorbacks.

Despite his questionable antics off the field, Petrino has a proven track record of winning. Unfortunately, former Toledo head coach Beckman is a huge question mark and is already an unpopular hire for AD Thomas.

Beckman has only been a head coach for three years and compiled a record of 21-16 at Toledo. It was the first of two failed hirings by Thomas. (The second was the hiring of Ohio University basketball coach John Groce to take over the down-and-out Illini basketball program.)

Illinois needs a big name to wear the Chief and I block logo proudly. Petrino might be considered scum by many, but he is a proven winner. Thomas should pay Beckman his entire contract—and maybe ask him to move down to defensive coordinator—and hire Bobby Petrino before we lose the chance.

The time is now for the University of Illinois to be aggressive and hire Petrino. Give Bobby at least two seasons, and watch Illinois become the cream of the crop in recruiting and an every-year contender for the Big Ten title.