LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The school confirmed Petrino was let go Sunday, with two games left in a dismal 2018 campaign.
Director of Athletics Vince Tyra spoke to the media Sunday afternoon regarding the transition:
“This is unexpected for sure,” Tyra said. “I didn’t think we’d be 2-8 at this point.”
A spokesperson for the the football program released the following statement Sunday morning:
Bobby Petrino has been relieved of his duties as the University of Louisville football head coach, Vice-President and Director of Athletics Vince Tyra announced on Sunday morning.
“We want to thank Bobby for guiding our football program to some of the better seasons we have had historically at UofL during his two separate tenures here,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Vince Tyra said. “However, at this time we feel the program needs different leadership and we owe it to our student-athletes and fans to get this turned around.”
“I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change and it needs to start happening now. We expect to determine a new head coach soon to restore our football program to national prominence.”
In nine years at Louisville, Petrino posted a 77-35 record, including a 21-18 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Petrino directed the program to eight winning seasons, tying the school record for wins in 2006 with a 12-1 mark.
The Helena, Montana, native served two different stints with the Cardinals. He produced a 41-9 record during his first term from 2003-06, returning to Louisville in 2014 to amass a 36-26 record.
In 14 seasons as a college head coach, with stops at Louisville, Arkansas (2008-11), and Western Kentucky (2013), Petrino compiled an overall mark of 119-56.
With two games remaining, the Cardinals are 2-8 overall and are last in the ACC with an 0-7 record.
A national search for the next coach at Louisville will begin immediately,
The Cardinals return home on Saturday to face NC State at 12:20 p.m. before closing out the season on Nov. 24 versus Kentucky.
Petrino’s departure, also means the departures of assistants Ryan Beard, LD Scott and Nick Petrino and director of operations Andy Wagner.
Entering the 2018 season, Petrino was the second-winningest coach in school history, trailing only Frank Camp.
But after several successful seasons at the helm, including Lamar Jackson’s 2016 Heisman season, the Cards struggled to defeat teams early in the season, and never claimed an Atlantic Coast Conference win. Friday’s blowout at Syracuse was UofL’s seventh straight loss.
Petrino coached the Cardinals for nine seasons, first from 2003-2006, during which his record was 41-9. He rejoined the Cardinals in January 2014; since his return, the Cards have gone 36-26.
During Petrino’s first campaign at UofL, he led the team to four winning seasons, two in Conference USA and two in the Big East, including a win in the Orange Bowl in January 2007.
Days after that win, Petrino announced he was leaving to coach the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Petrino signed a five-year, $24 million contract with the Falcons, but stayed for less than one season, leaving in December.
After leaving the Falcons, Petrino headed to Arkansas to lead the Razorbacks' football team. After several successful seasons, Petrino was fired following a scandal involving student-athlete development coordinator Jessica Dorrell.
He was let go by Arkansas in April 2012, and joined Western Kentucky in December of that same year. The Hilltoppers finished Petrino’s one year with an 8-4 record.
Almost exactly seven years to the day after Petrino announced he was leaving for the NFL, then-athletics director Tom Jurich announced that Petrino was returning to Louisville.
His buyout is estimated to be around $14 million, and Tyra confirmed he will receive that in total.