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Petrino accepts offer to become UI coach

Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino has accepted an offer to become the next Idaho football coach, the Spokesman-Review has confirmed.

UI has scheduled a news conference for tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Litehouse Center in the Kibbie Dome.

CoachingSearch.com was the first to report the hire.

Petrino replaces Robb Akey, who was fired on Oct. 21 after five-plus seasons. The Vandals went 1-11 this year and have had one winning season since 2000.

In addition to running the offense and coaching quarterbacks at Arkansas, Petrino has previously coached at Illinois, Louisville and with the Atlanta Falcons, among other stops. The Butte, Mont., native was an offensive and special teams assistant at Idaho from 1992-1994. He's the brother of former Arkansas and Falcons coach Bobby Petrino.

Idaho narrowed down a large list of candidates to five finalists last week. Petrino interviewed for the job on Thursday, according to a source. The other finalists were Wyoming defensive coordinator and former UI coach Chris Tormey, Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett, San Jose State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren and UI interim coach Jason Gesser.

The Vandals will compete as a Football Bowl Subdivision independent next year after the WAC dissolved as a football league. Petrino becomes the sixth UI head coach since the school became an FBS (then NCAA Division 1-A) program in 1996.




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