With the news that Auburn has fired Gene Chizik there will be rumblings that former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino should be Chizik’s replacement.
However, because of the controversy that would surround the hiring of the former Razorback coach and with how he has left his previous coaching positions, the Tigers would be wise to stay away and look elsewhere.
Petrino’s record at Louisville and Arkansas is keeping his name in so many mouths when a coaching position opens up. In only eight years as a head coach, Petrino has had six seasons of nine wins or more. Plus he’s amassed seven bowl trips with a respectable 4-3 record.
However, every place that Petrino has left has seen the coach burn bridges on his way out.
When he left Louisville, for the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL, it was a year after Petrino signed a 10-year $25 million contract extension with the university.
Then Petrino left the Falcons only 13 games into his first season. On the same day that he resigned from Atlanta, he signed his deal with Arkansas for five years with the coach getting paid $2.85 million per year.
And most recently, Petrino was fired from Arkansas after he was involved in a motorcycle accident with a woman that wasn’t his wife who happened to work for the football program.
So after those three incidents, why would an Auburn program that’s trying to rebuild want to bring on a head coach that’s either been known to look for a better position elsewhere and has also been involved in a major scandal?
Tigers fans who want to see Petrino take over should look at his time with Atlanta. The Falcons were in the process of rebuilding. Petrino took the helm for him to only ditch the club as soon as a better offer came along.
So if 2013 gets off to a rocky start, what would stop him from leaving the Tigers for a better job opening?
This program needs a fresh start with someone who doesn’t have a checkered past like Petrino.
Instead, Auburn needs to have a long, extensive coaching search where the hiring committee takes its time, instead of throwing a bunch of money at the person with the big name.
Petrino will get an offer from one of the SEC openings. However, one of those vacancies that should say "thanks, but no thanks" should be at Auburn.