Report: Bobby Petrino Nearing Texas A&M Contract to Join Jimbo Fisher's Staff as OC

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 4, 2023

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

Texas A&M football head coach Jimbo Fisher is hiring UNLV offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino as the Aggies' offensive coordinator and play-caller, per ESPN's Chris Low.

Petrino spent the past three seasons as the head coach of Missouri State, a Division I-FCS program. The Bears went 18-15 under Petrino and made the NCAA tournament in 2020 and 2021.

After the 2022 season, Petrino reached an agreement to become UNLV's offensive coordinator, per Low and ESPN's Adam Rittenberg on Dec. 15.

However, those plans have reportedly changed. Petrino now looks to be headed back to the SEC, where he served as Arkansas' head coach from 2008-2011.

This isn't the first time Petrino has made a shocking exit during his coaching career.

Petrino signed a 10-year, $25.6 million contract in July 2006 to stay with Louisville, where he began coaching in 2003.

He led the Cardinals to a 12-1 record, an Orange Bowl win and a No. 5 Associated Press ranking in 2006 but then parlayed that season into jumping to the NFL and becoming the Atlanta Falcons' head coach.

That union lasted just 13 games. After starting the 2007 season 3-10, Petrino skipped town for the University of Arkansas.

Once again, Petrino shined on the college level, going 34-17 over four seasons. The 2011 campaign resulted in an 11-2 record, a No. 5 finish in the Associated Press poll and a Cotton Bowl victory.

However, Petrino was fired "with cause" on April 10.

Harrison Keegan of the Springfield News-Leader explained what happened.

"On April 1, 2012, Petrino was involved in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash in northwest Arkansas.

"Petrino initially told university officials he was alone on the motorcycle, but it eventually came out that he had a passenger—then-25-year-old Jessica Dorrell.

"In the coming days, it came to light that Petrino had an affair with Dorrell and he had hired the former Arkansas volleyball player to work in the athletics department after giving her a $20,000 gift. He had not previously disclosed his relationship with university officials."

Petrino landed the head coaching gig at Western Kentucky for the 2013 season and led the Hilltoppers to an 8-4 record. However, he left there after one year for a second stint at Louisville. The Cardinals won eight or nine games in each of his first four seasons before nosediving to 2-8 in 2018. The school parted ways with Petrino, who took a year off before joining Missouri State.

Now he joins an Aggies team that scuffled through a disappointing 5-7 campaign last year despite starting the season ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll. A six-game losing streak dropped the team to 3-7 before two late-season wins, including one over LSU.

The Aggies finished the year No. 101 out of 131 Division I-FBS teams in scoring.