Bobby Petrino will return to the Football Bowl Subdivision as UNLV's offensive coordinator, the school announced Thursday. Petrino, who had prior successful runs at Louisville and Arkansas, will join first-year coach and former Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom with the Rebels. Petrino, who was in his third year leading Missouri State, was previously in the running for the offensive coordinator job at Texas A&M, according to 247Sports' Chris Hummer.
At UNLV, Petrino will head an offense that struggled at times during the 2022 season, averaging just 352.4 yards per game and 311.4 yards per game vs. Mountain West Conference opponents.
Petrino compiled an 18-15 record at Missouri State (2020-22) and made two Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances. However, the Bears went 5-6 in 2022 which featured a five-game losing streak following a 2-0 start. His brief time in the FCS followed his second stint as the coach at Louisville. He went 36-26 during that five-year span (2014-18), most notably developing Lamar Jackson into a Heisman-winning quarterback in 2016, but was fired after a 2-8 start to the 2018 season.
He's also known for his on-field success as the coach at Arkansas from 2008-11. He led the Razorbacks to a 34-17 record with a pair of major bowl appearances and finished in the top 15 of the AP poll twice -- including a top-five finish in 2011.
His time in Fayetteville came to an abrupt end in April 2012 when he crashed his motorcycle just outside of the city on April 1. Petrino initially lied to the school about the details of the incident, but it was later revealed in the police report that he was with a former Razorbacks volleyball player who was just hired by Petrino as a student-athlete development coordinator for the football team. He admitted to having an extra-marital affair with her and was fired by then-athletic director Jeff Long on April 10.
Petrino made a name for himself as one of the most innovative offensive minds throughout his career. That career included his initial stint as the coach with Louisville (2003-06), the Atlanta Falcons (2007) and Western Kentucky (2013) in addition to his time at Arkansas, second term with Louisville and three years at Missouri State.