FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Paul Petrino, the younger brother of new Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino, has joined the coaching staff at Arkansas as offensive coordinator.
The younger Petrino coached with his brother at Louisville and this year with the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. He served as the Falcons’ receivers coach. In 2007, Atlanta Falcons’ wide receivers Roddy White and Michael Jenkins are well ahead of their reception totals from a season ago. White has 65 catches through 13 games this season after hauling in 30 catches last season. Jenkins has upped his reception total from 39 last season to 51 in 13 games this season.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Paul Petrino worked the four previous years as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Louisville. His teams at Louisville averaged 41.1 points a game over his four seasons, including 34.6 in 2003, 49.8 in 2004, 43.3 in 2005 and 37.8 in 2006. He has 17 years of collegiate coaching experience in addition to spending this year in the NFL.
“I am pleased to have Paul joining our staff at Arkansas,” Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. “He is a talented offensive mind and a valuable coach on the field and in recruiting. He was instrumental in the success we had at Louisville. I know he is excited about this opportunity and he will hit the ground running.”
Paul Petrino was added to the Arkansas staff after a waiver was granted to the University of Arkansas by the NCAA to allow the institution to be exempted from the countable coaches’ legislation through Jan. 1, 2008. The Razorbacks may use members of the current staff or any coaches hired for Petrino’s staff as long as the total number of recruiters utilized off campus at one time doesn’t exceed seven. Paul Petrino will begin recruiting for Arkansas, but will notbe involvedin bowl preparations as a coach.
“I am really excited to be at Arkansas and be part of this great program,” Paul Petrino said. “I’m looking forward to competing for championships in the best league in the country. Arkansas is blessed with outstanding facilities and a loyal fan base. I am grateful for the opportunity and am really looking forward to getting out there to coach and recruit.”
While Paul Petrino was at Louisville, the Cardinals and Texas Tech were the only two schools in the nation to rank in the top 10 nationally in total offense for four straight seasons (2003-06). In 50 games at Louisville, 41 of those victories, his teams scored 40 or more points 28 times, 50 or more 14 times and 60 or more seven times.
In 2006, when the Cardinals went 12-1, won the Big East Conference title, beat No. 12 Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl, 24-13, and finished the year ranked No. 6 in the nation, Louisville was second in the country in total offense (476.8), seventh in passing (286.5) and third in scoring (38.9). One of his players, Harry Douglas, made 70 receptions and set a school record with 1,265 yards in earning first-team All-Big East honors.
In 2005, Louisville (9-3) was ninth in the nation in offense (482.1) and third in scoring (43.3) with six offensive players earning first-team all-conference honors. Running back Michael Bush led the nation with 24 touchdowns while receiver Joshua Tinch was a first-team All-Big East selection and receiver Mario Urrutia was second in the nation in yards per catch.
The 2004 team, which won the Conference USA title, beat No. 10 Boise State in the Liberty Bowl, 44-40, finished 11-1 and ended the year ranked No. 7 in the nation, led the nation in total offense (539.0) and scoring offense (49.7), and set an NCAA record by scoring 50 or more points in five straight games.
The Cardinals set school records for total yards, rushing yards and points in a season (597) in 2004. Louisville scored 50 or more points seven times. Receiver J.R. Russell earned all-conference honors for the second straight season after catching 75 passes for a school-record 1,213 yards in 2003, when the Cardinals went 9-4, and making 73 receptions in 2004.
Petrino began his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Carroll College in his hometown of Helena, Mont. He worked for his father, Bob, Sr., at Carroll in 1990 and 1991.
He moved to Idaho for the next three years (1992-94) where he coached receivers (1993-94), running backs (1992) and special teams. As running backs coach in ’92, he coached Sherriden May, who earned All-America honors and led all I-AA players with 150 points scored while rushing for 1,111 yards.
He moved to Utah State for the next three seasons (1995-97) as receivers coach and special teams coordinator. In ’95, receiver Kevin Alexander finished second in the nation in receptions and third in receiving yards.
In 1998, he went to Louisville for two years and his first stint on the Cardinal staff. In 1998, with Bobby coaching quarterbacks and Paul coaching receivers, UL set then-records for points (473), scoring average (39.4), touchdowns, passing yards, passing touchdowns, pass attempts, completions and total offense.
As receivers coach and special teams coordinator, Louisville was 7-5 in 1998 and ’99 and earned bowl bids both seasons.
From 2000-02, he was the quarterbacks coach at Southern Mississippi. In his three seasons, the Golden Eagles went 8-4, 6-5 and 7-6 with two bowl bids.
Born in Butte, Mont., on May 25, 1967, he was a four-year starter at quarterback for his father at Carroll College from 1985-88. He set 16 school records and earned Kodak All-America honors and was named the Football Gazette NAIA Division II Player of the Year as a senior. In his four seasons, Carroll was 36-6 and won four Frontier Conference titles.
Petrino and his wife Maya have two daughters, Anne Mari and Ava, and one son Mason. Anne Mari and Mason are twins.