Bobby Petrino was 41-9 at Louisville during his first stint at the school from 2003-06. (Associated Press)
Describing him as "a changed person," Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich on Thursday introduced a familiar face as the Cardinals' new head coach -- Bobby Petrino.Petrino, who led Louisville to a 41-9 record and an Orange Bowl berth in his previous stint at the school from 2003-06, returns with the baggage of a nomadic career and an affair with a subordinate he'd hired that led to his firing at Arkansas. He replaces Charlie Strong, who was introduced as Texas' coach on Monday.Jurich said a nine-hour interview with Petrino, and a talk with Petrino's wife Becky, sold him that the coach was worth the risk. Petrino's on-field college football resume is strong, with an 83-30 record at Louisville, Arkansas and Western Kentucky, which he led to an 8-4 record this season.
"Theopportunity to get the changed Bobby Petrino is what sold me," Jurich said."I'm a big believer you can come back fromadversity ... Has anybody come through more adversity than him? I can't imagine."
Petrino, who also served as Auburn's offensive coordinator in 2002, said he is not viewing Louisville as a stepping stone toward another job. He left the Cardinals in 2006 to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, ultimately leaving the Falcons with three games remaining in his first season to take the Arkansas job.
"You come right out and say it: I have nointerest in going anywhere else," he said."Your goals change. At one time my goal was todo a great job and win conference USA. Then it was to win the Big East Thenat one time I thought I wanted to coach in the NFL ... I've also really realized that the greatestreward in a job isn't so much the winning, but it's teaching young men to exceland get the most out of their ability.
"It's so great to be home and I can't wait toget down there to the coaches' offices and get to work."
While the job represents a strong rebound for his career after a that led to the revelation that he was having an affair with a 25-year-old former Arkansas volleyball player, Petrino said rebuilding his family life is a continuing process.
'We've been through that process and it took along time," Petrino said. "Like the university talks about upward trajectory, that's what we'regoing to continue to do as a family."
Jurich, who is hiring a football coach for the fifth time since becoming Louisville's athletic director in 1997, said he is convinced Louisville is now Petrino's "destination" and his days of job-hopping are over.
"I feel this is his last stop, his destination.He wants 15 years," Jurich said. "He really wants to be here. ...Ireally, truly feel -- y'all know I've been wrong - this is theright time and the right place for him."
You can watch the full press conference .
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