Former Louisville and Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino will be the next head coach at FCS-level Missouri State, the school announced Wednesday.
The announcement comes after rumors swirled Tuesday night that Missouri State was considering hiring disgraced Baylor coach Art Briles.
Petrino has not coached since he was fired in November 2018 after getting off to a 2–8 start to with Louisville. Petrino led the Cardinals to a bowl game in each of the previous four seasons.
Petrino, who also coached Louisville from 2003–06, was a controversial hire when he returned to the school in 2014. He had been fired by Arkansas for having an affair with his assistant. A motorcycle crash in April 2012 exposed their relationship and a later investigation detailed that the then 51-year-old Petrino and and 25-year-old Jessica Dorrell were intimate for approximately five months.
Petrino's season with the Atlanta Falcons also ended abruptly as he resigned in 2007 to become the Razorbacks' head coach less than 24 hours after promising owner Arthur Blank he was staying in Atlanta. He informed his players of his departure via a four-sentence note left in each of their lockers.
Still, the Bears, looking to make their first postseason appearance since 1990, have settled on the Louisville coach.
He replaces Dave Steckel, who was let go last Thursday in a "privately funded buyout" that will pay him up to $340,000 plus moving expenses. Steckel, a former Mizzou defensive coordinator, went 13-42 in five seasons with Missouri State.