Adrian Kraus/Associated Press
Bobby Petrino‘s second stint as Louisville head coach is over.
Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports reported that the university relieved Petrino of his duties Sunday, a day after the Cardinals’ 54-23 blowout loss to Syracuse. The loss dropped Louisville to an embarrassing 2-8 on the season, including a 0-7 mark in ACC play.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports added assistant coaches Nick Petrino, L.D. Scott and Ryan Beard were also fired. Thamel noted they are Petrino’s son and sons-in-law. Director of football operations Andy Wagner was let go as well, per Thamel.
Petrino returned to Louisville in 2014 amid controversy. The coach was beloved during his first run with the Cardinals, leading them to a 41-9 record that culminated in a 2006 Orange Bowl victory before he took the Atlanta Falcons’ head coaching job.
Petrino’s career since has been rocky to say the least. He quit 13 games into his Falcons tenure, which was marred by Michael Vick’s arrest for running a dogfighting ring, to take the job at Arkansas, a post he held for four seasons until he was fired in 2012 after lying to the university about a motorcycle accident and an affair with a university employee.
Louisville re-hired Petrino after his one-year stint with Western Kentucky, but the two sides did not have the same level of success. The Cardinals posted winning seasons in each of their first four years under Petrino but never finished better than 21st in the season-ending Associated Press poll.
Louisville will owe Petrino around $14 million in buyout money. Members of the university’s board have said it could not afford the buyout, and Louisville has severed ties with John Schnatter, the Papa John’s founder who was the school’s most prominent booster.
“I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change, and it needs to start happening now,” Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said, per Brett McMurphy of Stadium.
Louisville is widely expected to pursue Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm as its top target. Brohm was a Cardinals quarterback from 1989 to 1993 and previously served on Petrino’s coaching staffs at Louisville and Western Kentucky.
The 47-year-old is in his second season at Purdue.