|Bobby Petrino's father says he wants to return to coaching at Kentucky. (AP)|
Kentucky is reportedly not interested in hiring Bobby Petrino. But according to Petrino's father, the fired (and arguably disgraced) former Arkansas coach is definitely interested in being hired by the Wildcats.
“I just know this, that he's interested in Kentucky,” Bobby Petrino Sr. told the Louisville Courier-Journal in a story posted Wednesday night. “He wants to stay in the SEC. That was his life's goal was to go to the SEC.”
Some (including, memorably, Western Kentucky linebacker Andrew Jackson) might argue the Kentucky job doesn't actually qualify. But Petrino Sr. said the important thing for his son isn't even necessarily where he coaches -- it's that he simply gets back in the game.
“I know he wants a job; he needs a job,” Petrino Sr. said. “He told me, ‘I need a job, Dad.' I said, ‘Well, you must still have some money. You made 3 1/2 million dollars.' And he said, ‘Yeah, I do. It's not the money.' He just misses coaching so much.”
Does coaching miss him? Unlike most dismissed coaches, Petrino has never failed to deliver wins, taking Arkansas to Sugar and Cotton Bowl appearances in 2010 and '11 after previously remaking Louisville into a dark-horse national title contender.
But to say he has an image problem is an understatement after Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long fired him in April for "knowingly misleading" the AD about: 1) his relationship with Jessica Dorrell; 2) hiring Dorrell for a position within the football program; and 3) Dorrell's presence at the motorcycle accident that ultimately led to his dismissal. Petrino's reputation as a mercenary job-hopper -- cemented by his acrimonious midseason departure from the Atlanta Falcons for Arkansas -- won't do him any favors, either.
In theory, Kentucky might be desperate enough that none of that will matter. (Petrino is, of course, also rumored as a candidate for other potential SEC openings at Auburn and Tennessee.) But until there's some indication the Wildcats are willing to put that desperation into practice, the connection between the school and Petrino is just talk -- even if it's talk saying the coach could be the Wildcats' for the low, low price of simply asking.
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