Bowling Green, KY-In front of a standing-room only crowd on Monday in the Jack and Jackie Harbaugh Stadium Club, Bobby Petrino was introduced as the 18th head football coach in Western Kentucky University history.
“Quite simply, the name Bobby Petrino is synonymous with consistent success at the highest level,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “He and his wife have long standing roots in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As you know, Coach Petrino served as an assistant and head coach at the University of Louisville. Their daughter Kelsey graduated from Louisville three years ago and Katie is currently a redshirt sophomore on the golf team. It is great to have the Petrino family join the WKU family in Bowling Green.”
Petrino brings a wealth of coaching experience and success to WKU, owning a 75-26 career record as a collegiate head coach with seven bowl game appearances, including appearances in the 2011 BCS Sugar Bowl with the University of Arkansas and the 2007 BCS Orange Bowl with the University of Louisville.
“My vision for Western Kentucky University’s football program is to take it to the next level,” said Petrino. “Just like you do as a football coach, everything works in a progression where you work from step A to step B. You crawl before you walk, you walk before you run. That is what I see us doing here at WKU.
“We need to consistently, every year, go to a bowl game. We need to win a conference championship, we need to every single year. We need to get in a position where we are ranked in the top 25 and get in a position where we can compete to be in a BCS bowl game. That is where we see our program going. When you look at the Boise State’s of the world and the teams that have been able to do that, that is our expectation. That is where we feel we have the opportunity to go.”
In his eight seasons as a collegiate head coach with Louisville and Arkansas, Petrino led his teams to a bowl game in seven of the eight years, including four 10-win seasons, leading both the Cardinals and the Razorbacks to their first BCS bowl games in school history. Petrino guided Arkansas and Louisville to top-10 finishes nationally three different times, including finishing the 2006 and the 2011 seasons ranked fifth in the Associated Press poll.