LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bobby Petrino was officially announced as the new U of L head football coach Thursday -- a position Petrino himself labeled his "destination job."
"I went through an exhaustive search -- as exhaustive as I could be in a week," U of L athletics director Tom Jurich told reporters.
U of L president James Ramsey said both he and Jurich "went through a number of names," discussing the "pros and cons" of each name."
"There was no question that we've got the very best person to lead our Cardinal team forward," Ramsey said, adding that Jurich had the final say, but that university officials lent their endorsement to the pick.
"It's great to be back home," Petrino said, adding that he was heartened by the "familiar faces, the glows and the hugs."
"It's a great challenge to see the schedule that we have coming up, and I can't wait to play that schedule," he added, noting that his goals were to get into the conference, win the playoffs and snag a championship win.
But despite all the celebratory words, neither Jurich nor Petrino ignored the elephant in the room: Petrino's hasty and unexpected departure from the University of Louisville in 2006.
"Bobby and I have a lot of history together," Jurich admitted. "A lot of it is great and a lot of it is not great."
Jurich told the media that the Bobby Petrino of the past "is not the coach I want to hire," but quickly added that "he's 180 degrees changed today."
For his part, Petrino acknowledged the past, admitting that "I had made some mistakes." He said that when he interviewed with Jurich earlier this week, Jurich, "looked me in the eyes and said, 'I was really mad at you.'" Petrino said he told Jurich, "I understand that, and I get it."
Petrino said he has grown since 2006, both professionally and personally. And he gave an important reassurance to U of L fans:
"This is my destination job. I can't wait to get started."
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