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Report: Bobby Petrino hiring at Louisville 'imminent'

Bobby Petrino coached Louisville from 2003-06 before leaving for the Atlanta Falcons. Bobby Petrino coached Louisville from 2003 through '06 before leaving for the Atlanta Falcons. (Garry Jones/AP)

It appears as though Louisville has found a familiar face to replace departed coach Charlie Strong. According to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, the Cardinals are expected to hire Western Kentucky's Bobby Petrino, who was the coach at Louisville from 2003 through '06.

Multiple sources told Forde that Petrino's hiring is "imminent." ESPN's Joe Schad reports that Petrino has been offered the job and is expected to accept the position.

Petrino, who just wrapped his first season as the Hilltoppers' coach, went 41-9 with the Cardinals. Among his wins was the program's first-ever BCS bowl victory, a 24-13 defeat of Wake Forest in the '07 Orange Bowl.

Despite his success, Petrino's reputation began to sour in Louisville. He interviewed for several other jobs -- including positions at Auburn and LSU -- while simultaneously professing his loyalty to the Cardinals. He then left for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons in 2006 after he had signed an extension with Louisville.

He coached the Falcons for all of 13 games in 2007 before hastily departing to take over at Arkansas in advance of the '08 season. Petrino went 34-17 with the Razorbacks, but was fired in '12 after it was revealed he had hired his mistress, Jessica Dorrell, for a position within the football program. The news only surfaced after Petrino and Dorrell were involved in a motorcycle accident.

Strong left Louisville to take over as the coach at Texas.

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