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BOWLING GREEN, KY (WDRB) -- The news conference announcing the hiring of Bobby Petrino drew hundreds of fans and students looking for a distraction from finals week.
While Petrino's hire comes with some controversy after his scandalous affair that ended with his firing from the University of Arkansas, reaction to his hire in Bowling Green was seemingly positive.
"He's a winner and we believe in second chances," said Connor Ramer, a WKU student.
But fans like Ramer who packed the news conference hoping for a quasi pep rally were instead treated to a lecture about making mistakes and second chances as Petrino spoke openly and talked of using his past missteps to help his new players.
"I'm a firm believer in right and wrong, and I didn't follow that," Petrino told a crowd of more than 400.
Eight months ago, Petrino was fired from the University of Arkansas for lying about his affair with a young woman he helped hire in the Razorback athletic department.
Western Athletic Director Todd Stewart said Petrino was candid during his interview - offering up information before he was asked about the scandal and how he's moved on.
Petrino told reporters that he's spent the past several months reviewing film, working on rebuilding his relationship with his family and going to counseling.
"He made a mistake, he's take ownership of that and paid a hefty price. But this is the United States of America and we are a country that believes in second chances. And we're happy to give him that opportunity," said Stewart following a question from a WDRB reporter.
Western Kentucky players said they believe their new coach deserves a shot at redemption on the college level.
"He's moved on past that. We are all about family here," said Stephon Brown, a WKU wide receiver.
Jerrell Moore, a wide receiver transfer from the University of Louisville, said: "I'm excited to get to play he will get program in right direction."
The only concern to some: Petrino's history of jumping ship when something better comes along.
"I'm kinda worried. Is it going to be a one of those one and done kinda things?" said Derek Higdon, a WKU student.
Petrino had a chance to assure western fans he's committed, saying this:
"We don't know what future holds, we did things contractually to show fans we're committed to be here as long as possible," said Petrino.
Petrino has a four-year contract where he'll make at least $850,000 a year. It also includes a $1.2 million buyout, reports stated.