Paul Petrino
Petrino at Sun Belt Media Day in 2015
Current position
TitleOffensive Coordinator
TeamCentral Michigan
ConferenceSun Belt
Biographical details
Born (1967-05-25) May 25, 1967 (age 55)
Butte, Montana
Playing career
1985–1988Carroll (MT)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1990–1991Carroll (MT) (OC/QB)
1992–1994Idaho (WR/RB/ST)
1995–1997Utah State (WR/ST)
1998–1999Louisville (WR)
2000–2002Southern Miss (QB)
2003–2006Louisville (OC/WR)
2007Atlanta Falcons (WR)
2008–2009Arkansas (OC/WR)
2010–2011Illinois (OC/WR)
2012Arkansas (OC/QB)
2022–presentCentral Michigan (OC/QB)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
Sun Belt Coach of the Year (2016)

Paul Vincent Petrino (born May 25, 1967) is an American college football coach. He is currently the offensive coordinator at Central Michigan. He was previously the head coach at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. He was fired after the 2021 season, his ninth with the program, posting an overall record of 34–66 (.340).

Early life

Born in Butte, Montana, Petrino grew up in Helena and graduated from its Capital High School.[1][2] Recruited by the University of Montana in Missoula,[3] Petrino stayed in Helena and attended Carroll College. He played quarterback for the Fighting Saints, where his father, Bob Petrino Sr., was the longtime head coach (1971–98).[4] Both are members of Carroll's athletic hall of fame.[5]

Coaching career

Petrino began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Carroll shortly after graduation. He worked as an assistant coach, wide receiver coach, and offensive coordinator at several other schools in the next 20 years, including a short stint with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons in 2007. In 2006, while serving as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville, Petrino was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top college football assistant coach.

In December 2012, Petrino became the head coach at Idaho, where he had worked in the early 1990s under John L. Smith.[6] After the announcement, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long praised Petrino, saying he would have named Petrino the interim Arkansas head coach if not for his brother Bobby's resignation after a scandal.[7] Following the 2016 season, Petrino was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year after improving the Vandals from 4–8 the previous season to 8–4.[8] The season was capped with a ninth win, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise. After more than two decades back in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Idaho returned to the Big Sky Conference in FCS in 2018.

Petrino's record at Idaho was 34–66 (.340), the 66 losses are the most by a head coach in program history. In 2019, he passed Skip Stahley, 22–51–1 (.304) in eight seasons (195461). Third on that list is Robb Akey, 20–50 (.286) in six seasons (200712), and did not coach the final four games of 2012, all losses; fourth is Tom Cable, 11–35 (.239) in four seasons (200003).

Following his firing in Idaho, Petrino briefly joined the staff at South Alabama as an offensive analyst,[9] before joining Jim McElwain's staff at Central Michigan as the offensive coordinator.[10]

Personal life

Petrino is the younger brother, by six years, of former Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino; both were quarterbacks at Carroll.[1][4] When Paul was a player, Bobby was the offensive coordinator.[5] The brothers have worked together on coaching teams such as Louisville, the Atlanta Falcons, and Arkansas. His son, Mason Petrino, played QB for him at the University of Idaho, started in games 2017-2019.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Idaho Vandals (FBS independent) (2013)
2013 Idaho 1–11
Idaho Vandals (Sun Belt Conference) (2014–2017)
2014 Idaho 1–10 1–7 T–9th
2015 Idaho 4–8 3–5 T–5th
2016 Idaho 9–4 6–2 T–3rd W Famous Idaho Potato
2017 Idaho 4–8 3–5 T–8th
Idaho Vandals (Big Sky Conference) (2018–2021)
2018 Idaho 4–7 3–5 T–9th
2019 Idaho 5–7 3–5 T–7th
2020 Idaho 2–4 2–4 T–5th
2021 Idaho 4–7 3–5 9th
Idaho: 34–66 24–38
Total: 34–66


  1. ^ a b Synness, Curt (December 10, 2003). "Petrinos define coaching". Independent Record. (Helena, Montana). Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Synness, Curt (August 29, 2016). "Where are they now?..." Independent Record. (Helena, Montana). Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Dawson, Ted (August 31, 2016). "Montana State to take on Helena legend Paul Petrino". Montana Sports. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Bob Petrino, Sr". Independent Record. (Helena, Montana). August 18, 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Asmussen, Bob (August 8, 2010). "Paul Petrino: 'Tough as an old work boot'". News-Gazette. (Champaign, Illinois). Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Paul Petrino hired as Idaho coach". ESPN. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  7. ^ Wright, Josh (4 December 2012). "Vandals name Paul Petrino new football coach". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  8. ^ John McElwain (December 7, 2016). "Sun Belt announces 2016 Football All-Conference teams and individual awards". Sun Belt Conference. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  9. ^ Stephenson, Creg (11 January 2022). "Paul Petrino joins South Alabama staff as analyst". Advance Local Media LLC. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  10. ^ Samuels, Doug (21 February 2022). "Jim McElwain reportedly snagging former SEC and Big Ten offensive coordinator". Football Scoop. Retrieved 21 February 2022.