BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WKYT) - Western Kentucky announced Monday afternoon Bobby Petrino will be the Hilltoppers' new football coach.
The 51-year-old Petrino replaces Willie Taggart, who left WKU Saturday to become South Florida's coach. Petrino had a 34-17 record at Arkansas.
He was fired by Arkansas in April for a "pattern of misleading" behavior following a motorcycle accident. Petrino had an affair with former Razorback football staffer Jessica Dorrell, who he had given $20,000 in gifts. Petrino said initially he was the only person on the motorcycle but later admitted to Dorrell's presence.
As a college coach, Petrino is 75-26 with impressive record at Louisville and Arkansas. His teams have played in seven bowl games. Petrino had a brief stint as coach of the Atlanta Falcons but left before the season ended.
With several coaching jobs opening in the SEC, speculation rose that he would quickly make a return to the conference but the incident at Arkansas seriously damaged his reputation.
With Petrino taking the WKU job, there will be speculation that Mike Summers could join him there as offensive line coach. Summers coached under Petrino at Louisville, Atlanta, and Arkansas. With the Razorbacks, he also held the title of assistant head coach, until leaving to join Joker Phillips at Kentucky in 2010.
Kentucky, under new head coach Mark Stoops, is scheduled to open the season against Western Kentucky on August 31, 2013 in Nashville.