One and done: Petrino leaving WKU for Louisville

WKU head coach Bobby Petrino watches the clock run down on the first half of his team’s game against Kentucky.

Elliott Pratt

Bobby Petrino is leaving WKU to return to Louisville. 

A source confirmed Wednesday morning that Petrino was offered and accepted the position to become the next head football coach at Louisville.  Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports was the first to confirm the hiring. 

An official announcement could be made as early as Thursday morning when the Louisville athletic association meets at 9:00 a.m. CT.

Petrino returns to Louisville after coaching the Cardinals from 2003-06, producing a 41-9 record and a 2006 Orange Bowl victory.

WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm is likely to succeed Petrino as the next head coach of the Hilltoppers. A source said a new coach could be named as early as Friday. 

Petrino’s father told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Monday that his son wanted another shot to coach the Cardinals and that, “probably the biggest mistake he’d ever made as a coach was leaving Louisville.”

Petrino and the Hilltoppers won a school-record eight games (8-4) in his first and only season on the Hill. Popularly known as an offensive mastermind, Petrino’s offense at WKU flourished with a school-record 5,502 yards. 

Under the direction of Petrino, quarterback Brandon Doughty broke the school record for passing yards in a single season with 2,857 and Antonio Andrews set a new school record for rushing yards in a single season (1,764) and led the nation with 2,619 all-purpose yards.

Petrino was hired by WKU on Dec. 10, 2012, just three days after former coach Willie Taggart left to take the same position at South Florida. 

Petrino had signed a four-year contract for a base salary of $850,000 and a contract buyout of $1.2 million. The contract also states that if the coach leaves early he “must agree to use his best efforts to schedule a (2) two-year home-and-home game series” (one game at WKU, one game at coach’s new college/university).