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Guest post: What if Kentucky had hired Petrino?

Bobby Petrino (Vicky Graff Photo)

Bobby Petrino (Vicky Graff Photo)


I was thinking about UK’s current state of affairs in football after watching UofL go to 3-0 by demolishing second ranked Florida State while UK sits at 1-2 and struggled to beat a team that is a bottom feeder in the Sunbelt.

It occurred to me that at one point in 2012 Bobby Petrino could have been a viable option for UK as a head football coach. It appeared he was interested in the job. He had been fired by Arkansas for an undisclosed affair with his football assistant that he had previously given a $20,000 Christmas present to and one he had hired to the assistant’s job while they were having an affair.

With Mark Stoops currently sporting a 13-26 record while Bobby Petrino is sitting at 28-13 over that same time period it makes a person wonder. What would UK’s football fortunes be like right now if Petrino had been hired instead of Stoops? Would UK fans be willing to overlook the obvious ” sleeze factor” that comes with the package that is Bobby Petrino.
With UofL currently at 3-0 and sitting at #3 in the AP poll you have to ask would UK fans be willing to live with the obvious character flaws that are a part of Bobby Petrino and sacrifice a perceived reputation of running a “clean” program in order to be sitting at #3 in the country and a shot at the playoffs?

It’s an interesting question to consider.


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  1. I recall , speaking for myself , I was for it. Baggage ? Clearly. But you know the guy could coach , and that’s the difference between UK football hires. They had a chance to get a guy who was PROVEN. A track record of winning. UK apparently doesn’t want that for its football program. Reap what you sew.They are.

  2. Good point, but we can’t relied on what if! Stoops is the man and he’s got 8 games left to proof his game. Go cats!!

  3. UK should have hired BP when they had the chance, we ain’t hiring a preacher here, but a football coach. Barnhart could have given Petrino his marching orders on the path forward too. In other words “toe the line Coach!!” Petrino was crying for a job. Art Briles is a similar type coach, and a good one. I say if Stoops continues his downward spiral, hire him. He is looking for work. Contrary to ESPN too, Briles is a good man. His life story is amazing. Baylor had to blame somebody.

  4. Ahhhhh, Bobby Patrino. I think everyone on this board can harken back to our days of “bachelorhood”. Remember that girl (or for you ladies – guy) that you saw at a college party and you now wonder – gee I wished I had asked her for a date? How many of you have gone back to your 40th college reunion and ran into that gal again? Sometimes fate does you a favor.

    1. Well said RJ. “Sometimes fate does you a favor” is some mighty fine advice.

  5. I am sorry to disagree with everyone, and I want to see the Cats have a winning football team as much as anyone else, but to me, it would be like Joe Hardy selling his soul to beat the Yankees in “Damn Yankees” to have hired Bobby Petrino. For those who are too young to remember the reference, google “Damn Yankees”.

  6. Hind site is always 20 20. It’s seems clear it may have been a good move. But I for one would have been against it. That being said I wasn’t totally on board with hiring Cal either so what do I know! ! LOL

  7. It will take the kind of football coach like Petrino, who not only knows all 22 positions on the field, and can coach them up, but is smart and TOUGH enough to motivate players, and coaches too, in order to win at Kentucky. Sometimes you have to hit the mule in the head with a 2X4 to get his attention. Petrino, like him or not, would have gotten their attention, and Towles, and Phillips would still probably be at UK IMO. Maybe even Meant, and others who have baled like rats off a sinking ship. Hatcher and Tubman being the exceptions, they flat out messed up. I do think Petrino had a much better team, talent wise, when he got to Louisville than did Stoops at UK.

  8. I know a guy that knows Petrino and from what I’ve heard about the man, it’s just as matter of time until he craps in U of L ‘s nest or heads for greener pastures. We unfortunately live in a society driven by a quick fix mentality. Instant gratification is s short sided, self driven answer for those too lazy to put in the work. It reminds me of the advice I used to get from my USMC Parris Island DI father and his wisdom has never failed me.
    “If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?”

    1. I heard the same exact thing from my dad an Army DI. LOL

      1. Norm, man you may be right, but If Barnhart had hired Petrino back three or so years ago, before he hired Stoops, and Petrino had UK sitting on top of the college football world right now nationally ranked, with a Heisman Trophy candidate under center, like he has with the Cardinals right now, and in the national championship talk, you wouldn’t hear many UK football fans bringing up the man’s past, or complaining about the football team. Ticket sales would be booming, the stadium packed out. Now we have a coach that can’t even line up against C-USA teams and win. Why is it such a bad thing to hire the best if you have to spend millions anyway to get an available coach with top experience . It’s a business decision the way I look at it, a risk worth taking. If I have cancer, I want the best doctor. I am so tired of losing football at Kentucky with no end in sight.

        1. I understand my friend. I truly do. I’d like to think that my desperation for a winning program wouldn’t mean more to me than soneone of good character leading these young men but I am pretty damn sick of bad football.
          When it comes to Petrino, all I gave to do is look back 3 years and remember his disgraceful behavior at Arkansas. Fact is… the only program that would touch him was the dirty birds and think that pretty well sums it up.
          I refuse to believe that recruiting thugs and slugs is what it takes to build a winning program. Give it time my friend…the cards will regret the quick fix they’ve chosen.

          Semper Fi you old leather neck and God Bless.

  9. You are the best Norman, God bless.

  10. If UK had hired him, Petrino would always have one foot out the door from UK. He despises UK as much as anyone i know. Heard all the insults before? NO thank you.

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