Reports: Idaho hires Arkansas OC Paul Petrino as next head coach

By Chip Patterson | Staff Writer
Multiple outlets are reporting that Idaho has hired Arkansas OC Paul Petrino as their next head coach. (US Presswire)

Idaho will name Arkansas offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Paul Petrino the Vandals' next head coach, according to multiple reports.

ESPN.com's Joe Schad and CoachingSearch.com's Pete Roussell are both reporting that Petrino, who served three years on the Idaho staff (1992-94), will take over a Vandals program that has won just three games in the last two seasons under Robb Akey.

Petrino grew up in Helena, Mont. His lengthy career has also included stops at Carroll College (in Montana), Louisville, Southern Miss, Utah State, the Atlanta Falcons, Illinois, and Arkansas. Like his brother, Bobby -- with whom he has coached at many stops during his career -- Petrino is considered one of the top offensive coaches in college football. His units at Louisville and Arkansas recorded multiple top-10 finishes in scoring and total yards while also developing and producing NFL talent. In the 2012 NFL draft, five offensive players whom Petrino coached at Illinois or Arkansas were selected.

The Idaho job will be a challenge for Montana, considering the Vandals are set to be FBS independents starting in 2013. Idaho and New Mexico State were the only remaining members of the WAC, which has since ceased plans to compete in FBS play. The schedule for next season includes North Texas, Ole Miss, Wyoming, Washington State, Northern Illinois, and Temple.

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