SPRINGFIELD, Mo–New Missouri State football coach Bobby Petrino is already 1-0 at Plaster Stadium.
In our Bear Nation report, he was Idaho’s offensive coordinator when the Vandals beat the Bears in the 1990 playoffs.
Petrino’s goal is to lead the bears back to those glory days.
Missouri State football and Bobby Petrino have one thing in common, both are on the road to redemption.
And Petrino feels he can win a championship along the way.
“Let’s write a script like this. I decide 8-10 years from now whether I still want to coach football with a national championship in my pocket. That’s what I want to see happen,” said Petrino.
Petrino has 14 years of head coaching experience at the F-B-S level at Louisville, Arkansas and Western Kentucky.
The 58 year old was fired from both the Cardinals and Razorbacks but says he’s learned from his mistakes.
Petrino:”Certainly I made a mistake when I was the University of Arkansas. I’m fortunate enough to have a great wife, great family and stay together and work forward.”
Petrino and Bears athletics director Kyle Moats worked together in Louisville from 2006-2007.
The two stayed in touch, and when the Bears job opened, it was Petrino who made the first move.
Petrino:”I know when I was trying to get ahold of him I couldn’t. So then I tried to get ahold of everyone I knew, that knew
Kyle to get ahold of him.”
The two finally connected.
And Monday along with MSU president Clif Smart, Moats flew to Nashville to see if Petrino had grown past his mistakes.
“Bobby Petrino 2-point-0 is a different guy then Bobby Petrino first time through at Louisville. He’s engaged, he’s committed to his family. It’s all about success of the student athletes. He’s a great recruiter. He’s in the community. You’re going to be proud to have him as your coach. I am proud to have him as our coach,” said Smart.
Petrino has his challenge, to turn around a Missouri state team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2-thousand-9, and hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1990.
Petrino:”It’s something that I always look forward to it for my entire life. Is seeing a challenge, facing it and being able to be successful. I’m excited and very motivated for it.”
Petrino will get a 5 year contract worth $250,000 a year.
He agreed to a lower salary to make more money available for assistants, and he’s also donating $70,000 of his own money each year for the assistants.