Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bobby Petrino Interview (WKU vs UL)

I don't usually talk about college sports on this site, but I would if these universities would start racing motorcycles! In the meantime, it's no secret that we're big Hilltopper fans. My wife and I are both WKU grads. My brothers and many of our friends have also graduated from WKU, and more than a handful work on campus. We have football and basketball tickets, mostly because it's fun to put something on the calender and get out of the house to do something as a family. Also because it's fun to watch the Hilltoppers win. The basketball program and the football program are both on a roll right now. We recently replaced a questionable basketball coach with a good one, and we also replaced a good football coach with a questionable one. Don't worry! This story has a happy ending.

WKU had a rough introduction to FBS football before Willie Taggart turned things around and put the program on the right track. He was a star QB at WKU, then an assistant coach for the Jack Harbaugh squad that won us a national championship, and later an assistant coach for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. Meanwhile, the WKU program was struggling so they brought Willie back to town and he fixed stuff. Everybody loves Willie. His kid whooped my kid on the football field twice per season and we still love him!

23,252 was a record crowd.


We didn't win the Sunbelt, but we did go to a bowl game!

Alas, Willie left Kentucky to go back home to Florida. That's understandable. On the bright side, we had enough money to hire a top-notch coach like Bobby Petrino. So we did. It was a huge hire for our program -- here's a guy who can take WKU football to the next level. Sure, he's a person of questionable character, but that's why the best part of this deal was the four-year contract that basically made Petrino work for free when combined with Taggart's payout if he left after only two years. If he left sooner, he'd be paying WKU for the opportunity to coach FBS football for a year and get back into the spotlight. 

Guess what happened?

Petrino never saw 23.252 but there was a good crowd for the Navy game.


It was a successful season. We won 8 games but we didn't get a bowl game. It seems pretty obvious that problem came down to conference politics as we got the same treatment MTSU got the year before, but I don't think we're supposed to say that out loud. Whatever. We're moving on now...

Anyway, that's all background for the real story here. Imagine my surprise when I was invited to tag along with Bobby Petrino to his interview for the newly-available University of Louisville head coach position! For real?!? I really thought he'd do two years of his four-year contract here, but this is a great opportunity for him. He knows better than anybody that this is a sweet job, since it used to be his! I'm just glad they let me witness the meeting on this cold winter day. Recording devices were prohibited, but I took notes and this transcription is like 199.99% accurate:

UL:  So, I believe we've worked with you in the past. I see that we gave you a 10-year $25,000,000 contract about 10 years ago?

BP:  Yup.

UL:  But you didn't stick around long. You continued to interview for other jobs after signing the contract?  It says here that you lied about all that stuff right up until the last minute when you left us for the NFL job?

BP:  It was complicated.

UL:  Right on. No worries. We do have to talk about the NFL thing, though, because this doesn't sound normal. Am I reading this right? Your team sucked so bad that you had to quit in the middle of the season without even telling your players goodbye?

BP:  Well, you know, the Michael Vick thing kinda screwed everything up. It wasn't my fault.

UL:  So you're a genuine leader of men?  A real mentor?

BP:  Well, I wouldn't go that far. I am an offensive genius, though. Sometimes. I just haven't figured out how to deal with adversity. I'm working on it. I'm not working real hard on it because people keep paying me a ton of money regardless of what I do or what I say, but I'm working on it.

UL:  OK, so let's move on to that SEC job. Looks like you were experiencing some success there until you crashed a motorcycle?  Wait a minute, are you really the first person in the history of the world to say he crashed a bike because it was too sunny outside?  C'mon... that can't be real!

BP:  Oh yeah, I did say that!  But I was just talking nonsense because I didn't want them to know about my girlfriend who I'd improperly hired to work for my team. Man, it was a mess. Poor girl was engaged and stuff!

UL:  Hmmmm, so I guess you got fired for that whole deal.

BP:  Oh, yeah. So did she. Ain't that a shame?

UL:  I guess so. I can see why you took a year off.

BP:  Well, yeah. Yup.

UL:  Then you got another job offer back in Kentucky. Was that weird?

BP:  Yeah, that was real weird. Did you see our press conference? Awkward!  But we got through it, my wife and I. Did I mention my wife?

UL:  Yeah, I saw it. That was awkward. Anyway, it looks like you went on to have a pretty decent season. I mean, there were some really questionable play calls in clutch situations and you didn't make it to a bowl game, but it was your first year.

BP:  Yup.

UL:  Do you have any references?

BP:  Not really.

UL:  So, when can you start?


I hope AD Stewart gets a raise with some of that money Petrino paid WKU. That was a brilliant contract, and it will be interesting to see what Louisville pays him this time. It'll be more interesting to see what the buyout is!

Petrino & Pitino, huh? Good luck, AD Jurich!

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