SPRINGFIELD, Mo–In three years, Bobby Petrino guided Missouri State through the Covid pandemic, and back to the NCAA tournament.

And Thursday night he says it’s time to step away from being a head coach.

The 61-year old will go to Las Vegas and run the offense for former Mizzou coach Barry Odom.

UNLV handed the football reigns to Odom last week, his first big move was to hire Petrino.

In his three years at Missouri State, Petrino has led the Bears to an 18-15 record.

This past season the team was 5-6.

Since the last game, Petrino reportedly interviewed with Tulsa about its head coaching job, and Texas A&M about its offensive coordinator’s job.

But it was Odom and his challenge to turn around the Rebels that intrigued Petrino.

In a statment released by UNLV Petrino said: “Barry Odom is a talented coach who has always been highly respected…I’m excited to be part of the new direction of the Rebels and compete for championships. We had a great three years at Missouri State but I thought it was the time in my career to step away from the head role and get back into a coordinator position.”

Three years ago, MSU Athletics Director Kyle Moats and president Clif Smart hired Bobby Petrino to turn around the Bears.

Thursday night Moats says coach Petrino did what we thought he would do, turn the team around, make it a successful championship program.

Moats had worked with Petrino at Louisville, and said it was a pleasure to get to work with him again.

Moats did say Missouri State will immediately begin looking for the next Bears coach.

A couple of candidates could be Petrino’s son Nick who’s the Bears offensive coordinator, and son in law Ryan Beard who’s the defensive coordinator.