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AP source: Petrino interviews for Louisville job

January 8, 2014
Associated Press

Western Kentucky coach Bobby Petrino talked to Louisville on Tuesday about its top job.

Petrino interviewed with Cardinals athletic director Tom Jurich, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. Jurich is looking for a replacement for Charlie Strong, who took the Texas job over the weekend.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the school has not announced a list of coaching candidates, also said Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford are among "several candidates" who have interviewed for the position.

An announcement on Strong's successor could come as early as Thursday morning, when the University of Louisville Athletic Association is scheduled to meet to review Jurich's recommendation for the position.

Petrino, 52, is the most notable name among the known candidates because of his previous coaching success that began at Louisville. He went 41-9 as the Cardinals' coach from 2003-06 and earned the program's first BCS bowl victory his final season there in the Orange Bowl before a 3-10 stint with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons in 2007.

Petrino has an 83-30 career record as a college head coach, including an 8-4 mark last season with the Hilltoppers, his first position since his April 2012 firing by Arkansas amid scandal. The Montana native was dismissed for a "pattern of misleading behavior" about a motorcycle accident in which he claimed to be alone before revealing that his mistress was a passenger.

Petrino was 34-17 with the Razorbacks, including a 2-1 record in bowl games.

WKU gave Petrino a four-year deal with a base annual salary of $850,000. His contract includes a $1.2 million repayment to the school if he terminates it at any time.

Speculation over Petrino possibly being considered for Louisville increased when Jurich said during a Sunday news conference that "everybody is in play" to be Strong's replacement. The AD promised to move quickly on the hire but said he wanted a coach who was the right fit and committed to the school for the long term.

Strong was 37-15 in four seasons at Louisville, including a 3-1 record in bowl games.

 
 

 

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