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Helena native Bobby Petrino returns to FBS ranks with UNLV Rebels

Bobby Petrino
Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 15, 2022

LAS VEGAS — Helena native Bobby Petrino will join the UNLV coaching staff as the offensive coordinator, leaving his head coaching position at FCS Missouri State, announced the UNLV athletics department on Thursday.

Petrino will join newly minted UNLV head coach Barry Odom's staff for the 2023 season.

Petrino is part of one of the most famous coaching families in Montana, the son of legendary Carroll College coach Bob Petrino Sr. and brother of current Central Michigan offensive coordinator Paul Petrino. Bobby Petrino graduated from Helena Capital High School in 1979 and then played quarterback at Carroll College. He got his coaching start as a graduate assistant at Carroll in 1983.

Petrino is widely considered to be a great offensive football mind, but has seen his share of controversy, being fired on several occasions including from the University of Arkansas in 2012.

Petrino got his start in coaching as an assistant at Carroll College in 1983 and served in various assistant and coordinator roles for two decades before getting his first of two head coaching stints with Louisville from 2003-06, before returning to head the Cardinals coaching staff from 2014 to 2018. During his tenure with Louisville, Petrino and the Cardinals were a force to be reckoned with nationally. In 2006, the Cardinals started 8-0 and went as high as No. 3 in the BCS rankings, while posting double-digit seasons in both 2004 and 2006.

Petrino left Louisville for the first time to take a head coaching job for the Atlanta Falcons in 2007. Petrino left the Falcons after just one year to return to the college ranks as the Arkansas head coach in 2008.

In 2013, Petrino was hired at Western Kentucky and returned to Louisville just a year later, where he coached Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Petrino was fired in 2018.

During his career as a head coach Petrino has a 137-71 record in the college, most recently going 18-15 as the Missouri State Bears head coach.