SEC VS THE NFL: Petrino to ARK

Arkansas has finally ended its search for a new football coach hiring Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino.

Bobby Petrino is the new Arkansas head coach

According to multiple reports, Petrino has resigned his position as coach of the Falcons and reportedly is on a plane headed to Fayetteville now. Petrino is 3-11 in his first season in the NFL after a very successful stint as head coach at Louisville. Petrino took the Atlanta job thinking he would get to coach Michael Vick, but Vick was arrested prior to the season for his involvement in dog fighting and other illegal activities.

In four years at Louisville, Petrino was 41-9 including a 12-1 mark and No. 6 ranking in 2006. Arkansas fans have hoped Arkansas would find an offensive-minded coach to replace Houston Nutt, who is now at Ole Miss. In Petrino, new Athletic Director Jeff Long has hit paydirt.

In 2006, Louisville ranked fourth in the nation in scoring (37.8 points per game) and second in total yards (484.6 yards per game). Louisville capped off the 2006 season with a 24-13 victory over Wake Forest in the BCS FedEx Orange Bowl. The team was recognized by having seven Cardinals earn first-team All Big East honors.

Petrino has SEC experience as well since he served as offensive coordinator at Auburn in 2002. In his lone season at Auburn, the Tigers finished 9-4 and led the SEC in pass efficiency and third-down conversions while also ranking third in the league in scoring offense, rushing offense and total offense. Auburn defeated Penn State 13-9 in the Capital One Bowl that season.

Petrino also served as Quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999-2000 and then was offensive coordinator in 2001. During his time with Jacksonville, Petrino tutored Mark Brunell to his three best passing seasons in his career.

In four years at Louisville, Petrino’s record was 41-9. Louisville has been Petrino’s only head coaching stop in college.

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