Idaho coach Paul Petrino to return next season after 4–8 campaign

Idaho coach Paul Petrino will return next season, according to a source.
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Idaho coach Paul Petrino will return next season, according to a source.

Petrino was informed that his job was safe prior to Saturday’s 38–31 season-finale win against Texas State, per the source. The Vandals had a 4–8 record this season, finishing just a win short of the combined number of victories the program had during its previous four years.

It’s a significant improvement at perhaps college football’s most difficult job under the 48-year-old Petrino, who had only won a game apiece in each of his first two seasons of rebuilding in Moscow.

Idaho returns several key pieces for next season, including promising starting quarterback Matt Linehan, who threw for 2,972 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. The Vandals will also have back three of this season’s top four receivers, a group led by wideout Callen Hightower, who had 57 catches for 749 yards and two touchdowns.

Idaho’s 3–5 record in the Sun Belt this season is its best since joining the conference last season. It’s also the program’s best mark in league play since 2010.