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Report: Bobby Petrino Hired as UNLV Offensive Coordinator on Barry Odom's Staff

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2022

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - SEPTEMBER 17: Missouri State Bears head coach Bobby Petrino before the college football game between the Missouri State Bears and Arkansas Razorbacks on September 17, 2022, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New UNLV head football coach Barry Odom is reportedly hiring Bobby Petrino to serve as his offensive coordinator, according to Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.

Petrino has been Missouri State's head coach for the past three seasons, guiding the team to two FCS playoff appearances.

Petrino, 61, will bring a wealth of experience to Odom's staff. His previous stops included stints as the head coach at Louisville (2003-06, 2014-18), Arkansas (2008-11) and Western Kentucky (2013) at the collegiate level and the Atlanta Falcons for 13 games in the 2007 NFL season before quitting to take the Arkansas job.

He's gone 119-56 in his collegiate head coaching career but was just 3-10 in the NFL.

His time in coaching has not been without its controversies, however. Arkansas fired him in 2012 for misleading the school about an extramarital affair and a motorcycle accident he bad been in.

His second stint included the Lamar Jackson years, though Petrino was fired in 2018 after the team started just 2-8.

But his offensive prowess precedes him, and should make the UNLV attack dangerous.

"Having coached against him—the things they do on offense, the way his players are coached—it's phenomenal," Alabama head coach Nick Saban told ESPN this summer when speaking about Petrino. "... He's one of the toughest guys I've gone against."

New Louisville coach Jeff Brohm concurred.

"He could take a group of college students on an intramural team, put them out there on the field and help them win games," he said.

UNLV is undergoing a period of turnover after firing former head coach Marcus Arroyo, who went just 7-23 with the program. Former Arkansas defensive coordinator and Missouri head coach Odom was hired to the post on Dec. 6.

The expectation will be that Petrino has a nearly full run of the offense, given his experience.