Missouri State made it official Thursday with a press conference announcing Bobby Petrino as the school’s new football coach.
Petrino signed a 5-year deal worth $250,000 a year. Petrino revealed during the press conference that he took a lower salary to allow more money to be given to assistant coaches, and he plans to defer some of his salary to assistant coaches.
Petrino and MSU officials said that they did not begin to talk about the possibility of working together until the University parted ways with previous coach Dave Steckel. Petrino said it was one of his daughters that brought the opening at MSU to his attention. Petrino then tried to reach MSU Athletic Director Kyle Moats, who worked with Petrino at Louisville.
”I know when I was trying to get ahold of him I couldn’t,” Petrino joked. “So then I tried to get ahold of everyone I knew, that knew Kyle to get ahold of him.”
Petrino mentioned that he was familiar with Missouri State, having coached against MSU in 1989 while an assistant at Idaho, and that his daughter had come here to play golf.
Petrino, described by Moats as “Bobby Petrino 2.0”, said he was looking forward rather than backward when asked about his history and the lackluster history of the MSU football program in recent years. When asked what he meant, he referenced a desire to build a national championship contender at MSU.
“Let’s write a script like this,” Petrino said. “I come here, I’d be very successful, I decide 8-10 years from now whether I still want to coach football with a national championship in my pocket.”
After the press conference, President Smart spoke directly to the media about the process and decisively rejected that the school had considered Art Briles for the position.
“We did not contact him,” Smart said. “We did not contact anybody about him. He was never on our list. He would never have been considered under any circumstances. Period.”
Smart went on to call out internet media outlets that claimed the school was looking at Briles.
“To have his name associated with mine, I find offensive,” Smart said. “I want everyone out there to know, no interaction, ever. No consideration of Art Briles being our head coach.”