GLASGOW — BOWLING GREEN — Western Kentucky University has named Bobby Petrino its 18th head football coach in school history, WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart announced on Monday. Petrino brings a wealth of coaching experience and success to WKU, owning a 75-26 career record as a collegiate head coach, with seven bowl game appearances, including appearances in the 2011 BCS Sugar Bowl with the University of Arkansas and the 2007 BCS Orange Bowl with the University of Louisville.
There will be a press conference at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Jackie Harbaugh Stadium Club at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Petrino becomes only the eighth WKU head coach since 1948, taking over a program primed for its first-ever bowl game appearance on December 26 against Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, and coming off back-to-back seven-win seasons. As previously announced on Friday, WKU defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will coach the Hilltoppers in the bowl game as interim head coach.
In his eight seasons as a collegiate head coach with Louisville and Arkansas, Petrino led his teams to a bowl game in seven of the eight years, including four 10-win seasons, leading both the Cardinals and the Razorbacks to their first BCS bowl games in school history. Petrino guided Arkansas and Louisville to top-10 finishes nationally three different times, including finishing the 2006 and the 2011 seasons ranked fifth in the Associated Press poll.
In his most recent coaching stop at Arkansas, Petrino led the Razorbacks to a 34-17 record in four years, going 29-10 in his final three years, increasing his win total in each of his four seasons with Arkansas. In just his second season in Fayetteville, Petrino led Arkansas to an 8-5 record and its first bowl win since 2003, winning over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The success of the 2009 season propelled Arkansas into the national spotlight in 2010, as the Razorbacks went 10-3, earning a bid to the AllState Sugar Bowl against Ohio State — the program's first-ever BCS bowl bid. Petrino followed up the 2010 season with a remarkable 11-win campaign in 2011, matching the single-season school record. Arkansas closed out the year with a win over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl, boosting the Razorbacks into the No. 5 national ranking in the final AP poll.