WKU athletic director praises Louisville hiring of Bobby Petrino

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Bobby Petrino is reportedly returning to Louisville
Bobby Petrino is reportedly returning to Louisville. (USATSI)

Louisville is planning a Thursday news conference to announce the hiring of Bobby Petrino, according to CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler. The conference will follow a Louisville Athletic Association meeting to approve the deal.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Petrino has accepted an offer from Louisville to replace Charlie Strong. And Thursday morning, Western Kentucky athletics director Todd Stewart issued a statement praising the move.

"President [Jim] Ramsay, [athletic director] Tom Jurich and the University of Louisville have made a tremendous hire, and I wish Bobby, Becky and the Petrino family much success and happiness in Louisville. ... He will do a terrific job leading the Louisville football program as they move into the Atlantic Coast Conference."

Petrino already has begun contacting prospective staff members.

This will be the second time that Petrino has been hired at Louisville.

Petrino's first career head-coaching gig was at the school, where he went 41-9 over four seasons (2003-06), helping oversee the school's transition from Conference USA to the Big East. He would then leave Louisville following the 2006 season to take a job with the Atlanta Falcons, starting a trend in his career.

Petrino wouldn't even finish his first full season in Atlanta, leaving after only 13 games to take over at Arkansas. Petrino would then go 34-17 in four seasons with the Razorbacks before being fired in April 2012 following a motorcycle accident with Arkansas volleyball player Jessica Dorrell. Dorrell was also Petrino's mistress, whom he had hired to work as the football program's student-athlete development coordinator.

He was then out of coaching for a year before taking over at Western Kentucky in 2013 and going 8-4 there.

All of which means that when Petrino is introduced at Louisville on Thursday it will be the fifth introductory press conference he's attended in ten years.

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