Nearly a month after his name first surfaced as a candidate for the Texas A&M offensive coordinator position, it’s being reported that the Aggies are finalizing a deal to hire Bobby Petrino as the team’s new OC.
Jimbo Fisher is finalizing a deal to hire Bobby Petrino as @AggieFootball’s OC and Petrino will take over play-calling duties, sources tell ESPN. Petrino, one of the top offensive minds in football, was briefly OC at UNLV after spending last three seasons at Missouri State.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) January 4, 2023
Petrino is as seasoned an offensive mind as they come, having previously serving as head coach at Louisville, Arkansas, Western Kentucky, Louisville again, and most recently at FCS program Missouri State. He was also hired last month to be the OC at UNLV, but it appears he will back out of that deal to take the gig in College Station. But of course Petrino does not come without controversy. His tenure at Arkansas famously ended when a motorcycle crash exposed his affair with a member of the Razorback football staff. Less than a year removed from the hiring of DJ Durkin, who was mired in even more controversy as the head coach at Maryland, it’s certainly not the best look from a PR perspective.
Petrino may well end up being a successful hire for A&M. His Power Spread seems to mesh nicely with what Jimbo already likes to do, and the Aggies will likely give him more talent to work with than he’s had in quite some time. But the hire also reeks of A&M swinging and missing with several other candidates along the way. Unfortunately, following a 5-7 season, this job just isn’t attractive enough at the moment to lure a coordinator away from a top Power 5 program who is already having success where they are.
This isn’t a disastrous hire, it’s just a bit of a stale one. But the good news is that this almost certainly confirms that Jimbo is giving up playcalling duties going forward (as it’s hard to imagine Petrino would take the job otherwise). That alone is more of an improvement than may were expected just a couple of months ago. Let’s see how it goes from here.