Bobby Petrino is a name controversial to many not only across the SEC, but all of college football. During his last stint as a head coach in the SEC at the University of Arkansas, Petrino was fired after an incident where he was caught with 25-year old Jessica Dorrell on his motorcycle at the time of the crash.
While their relationship and reason for the joyride is still unknown, at the time it caused quite the media firestorm, forcing the Hogs to fire Petrino. Dorrell also resigned her position in the University of Arkansas Athletic Department.
Petrino was coming off of back-to-back 10 win seasons for the Hogs in 2010 and 2011 at the time of the incident, and was loaded coming back for the 2012 season. Many though the Hogs would make a run at Nick Saban and Alabama in 2012. But they never got the chance. Amidst the firing of Petrino, John L. Smith took over as the interim head coach for the Hogs and the team spiraled downward that season going 4-8.
Since 2012, the Hogs have fallen on tough times seeing only one eight win season in 2015 and one nine win season in 2021.
With current head coach Sam Pittman speculated by many to maybe be on his way out after the 2023 season which has the Hogs at 3-7 right now, speculation is also beginning around who the Hogs should hire as their next head coach.
11 years have passed since Petrino’s infamous motorcycle incident, and Hog nation hasn’t forgotten the promise he brought the program at the time. That combined with the challenging seasons they’ve had since have left the door more open than ever for a potential Petrino return to Fayetteville.
Could Bobby Petrino return to Arkansas as head coach?
Since leaving Fayetteville, Petrino has had two FBS head coaching stops at Western Kentucky for one season and Louisville for five. Between the two schools, Petrino compiled five winning seasons out of six before being fired from Louisville following a 2-8 2018 campaign.
Petrino’s next stop was at the FCS level from 2020-2022 coaching the Missouri State Bears where he went 18-5 before departing to take the offensive coordinator job under recently fired Texas A&M head coach, Jimbo Fisher.
So with Petrino more than likely available for hire in 2024 and the Hogs craving sustained success, could the two match up again and reconcile their differences 11 years later? We may find out in just a few weeks.
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