|Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino could be making a return to the SEC. (US Presswire)|
Bobby Petrino is among the candidates emerging for the Auburn coaching vacancy, a source told CBSSports.com Wednesday night.
Petrino is definitely getting consideration for the Tigers head coaching job, the source says. Auburn's search committee is planning to do its research not only into Petrino's background but it is also examining his leadership skills and how he runs a football program as part of the search process.
The one-time Auburn assistant was fired last spring at Arkansas for his failure to disclose an inappropriate relationship with a UA female employee that came to light after his ill-fated motorcycle ride. His career record as a head coach is 75-26 and he has led two different programs to Top 5 finishes.
On Wednesday night, AL.com reported that Charlie Strong, the coach at Louisville, had an interview with Auburn in the past two days. Strong is 23-15 in three seasons with the Cards and had plenty of success as a defensive coordinator in the SEC in his days at South Carolina and Florida. The Arkansas native is also rumored to be a candidate for the Arkansas and Tennessee vacancies. A source told CBS that Auburn does have interest in Strong.
Later Wednesday night, Strong denied interviewing with Auburn after the AL.com report was published. He told Yahoo! "I didn't interview with Auburn, I have a job."
It should be noted that Strong's football program at Louisville appears to be in a much better position Wednesday than it was at the beginning of this week with the news that the Cardinals are leaving the Big East and joining the ACC.
Auburn fired coach Gene Chizik, who two years earlier, had led the Tigers to the BCS title but this season the team went 3-9.