Bobby Petrino: 'I chose to do wrong'
Posted by: Josh Kendall on December 11, 2012
Western Kentucky coach Bobby Petrino said Tuesday morning that he plans to "pull one of those Boise States" with the Hilltoppers. But he knows before that he will have to repair his image, he said on the Dan Patrick Show.
"This last situation at Arkansas was all on me," Petrino said. "I know the difference between right and wrong, and I chose to do wrong. I spent the last eight months working on repairing the damage I did with my family. I feel good about where we are at."
Tuesday's radio appearance was Petrino's first national interview since being introduced Monday as the replacement for Willie Taggart, who left the Hilltoppers to become South Florida's coach. Petrino was 34-17 at Arkansas when he was dismissed amid a scandal involving an improper relationship with a school employee.
"I learned that No. 1, I am always going to keep my eye on my family," he said. "I drifted away from what has always been most important to me. I learned how much I enjoy working with young men and watching them excel, to be able to see the look in their eye when they have accomplished something you told them they could. The No. 1 thing that will help me be a better coach down the road is I will now spend as much time coaching the person as I will a player."
Petrino knows his transgressions will be an issue on the recruiting trail.
"I am certainly going to have to explain the fact I made a mistake just like a lot of people have," he said. "There will be a time when their son makes a mistake and I will be able to help him deal with it and give him a second chance and give him some redemption. I am really looking forward to getting back on the road recruiting."
Patrick asked Petrino if this will be his last coaching job. He signed a four-year deal with Western Kentucky that will pay him $850,000 annually.
"I don't know that," he said. "I wish I could predict the future. I do know that I really appreciate the opportunity."
Petrino never considered getting out of coaching, he said.
"I never felt like I had a job. I just had a way of life, he said. "There was never a thought I wouldn't be coaching."
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com