The University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) has named Bobby Petrino as its next offensive coordinator, the university announced Thursday (Dec. 15), ending Petrino’s three-year stint as head coach at Missouri State.
“Coach Petrino did what we thought he would do,” said Missouri State Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “He was able to turn our team around and make it a successful, championship program. I know our fans will be forever grateful for having experienced his exciting brand of football and the many great memories he provided Bears fans over the past three years. It was a pleasure to get to work with him again, and I wish him and Becky the best of luck in their new endeavor.”
Petrino led the Bears to two NCAA FCS Playoff appearances in his three seasons in Springfield, including the program’s first conference championship in 30 years. He compiled an 18-15 overall record and was 14-8 in Missouri Valley Football Conference contests during his tenure.
Hired on Jan. 16, 2020, Petrino ushered in the new era of Bears football by immediately going 5-1 in conference games in the spring of 2021 which gave the Bears a share of the MVFC title and an NCAA playoff berth for the first time since 1990. He followed that effort with a 6-2 run in the league in his second season, which placed the Bears alone in second place in The Valley with a second straight NCAA playoff appearance.
His third year in Springfield in 2022 was marred by key injuries in the heart of the season that ultimately ended the team’s run of 25 straight weeks being ranked in the FCS Top 25 polls. A near-upset at No. 10-ranked Arkansas in week three ended an undefeated start to the campaign, which ultimately culminated with three wins in the club’s last four games to end the year. It marked just the fifth time since 2000 — and third time under Petrino — that MSU ended the season with victories in three of its last four contests.
Under Petrino, the Bears boasted seven FCS All-Americans, 32 all-conference honors, 31 MVFC players of the week, and seven inclusions on the MVFC All-Newcomer Team. He was named MVFC Coach of the Year for the 2020-21 season and finished ninth in the FCS National Coach of the Year voting that same season. At the end of the 2021 season, Petrino finished 11th in the FCS National Coach of the Year voting.
According to Moats, the search process to replace Petrino will begin immediately.