Paul Petrino is from a coaching family. He remembers breaking down game film with his father as a boy. And he and his brother, Bobby, would watch tape for eight hours at a time in the offseason while together at Arkansas. Yes, Petrino is a coach's son, and now he has another title he's always wanted: head coach.
Petrino was introduced Monday as the new face of the Idaho football program. He had lots to say, and we've got lots of details to pass along below. You can also find an early version of our story for the paper.
Let's start with the newsiest items:
Now on to some additional quotes that didn't make it in my story. Only two players were made available to the media — defensive end Maxx Forde and left tackle Cody Elenz. I also talked over the phone with John L. Smith.
On finally having a permanent coach: “It’s nice. With school we’re getting ready for finals. It’s nice to have that question off the table.”
On his initial thoughts of Petrino: “It seems like he has a lot of passion, so that’s a good thing. I know that his offense put up a lot of big numbers. I’m excited about what he can do when has control of the whole team. I think it will be good things.”
On what disciple/high-character players can do for UI: “Whenever you’ve got a high-character team, guys are going to come to work hard. One day at a time to do what they can to get better. I think that will definitely help our team.”
John L. Smith
On Petrino taking the job: “It has been something he’s wanted for a long time. He’s been looking forward to.This is awesome. Number 1, Idaho … I think that’s my institution. Being that was my first head coaching job, etc. and I’ve got a fondness in my heart for Idaho., I’m just thrilled that he was able to get that job and take that job for his first job as well. He’s a guy I love, admire and respect, and he’s been with my it feels like forever … I’m tickled, I’m proud and I’m excited about taking that job. I’ll tell you what, you talk about attitude for the boosters, for the kids that are there — he’s got a passion for the game, a great attitude for the game. He’s a disciplinarian. He’ll bring in discipline and toughness for those guys that play for him. I’m thrilled for him and thrilled for the university.”
On how Petrino has changed since he was first an assistant at Idaho: “Like all of us, he’s matured. He’s always had the great passion, excitement, that energy — extreme energy for the game and a great work ethic that he’s gained growing up in a football family.”
On what Petrino brings to UI: “I don’t know if you can find a better, more knowledgeable coach offensively. He definitely needed a chance to become a head coach, and this is his opportunity to do that. He’s going to love those kids. He’s going to push those kids. He’s going to give those kids the same tough love that he had growing up. And they will develop that work ethic, that discipline that he has. So I think you’re getting a steal.”
Opening statement: “It’s something I’ve worked for since I was a little kid. I’ve dreamed about (it). That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a head coach. That’s what I’ve trained for. A lot of parents take their kids hunting and fishing. Our dad would take us up to the office and first teach us how to play the game, and then teach us how to coach the game. We’d break down tape. We’d learned how to attack (an offense or defense). … I can give you my word that I will give you every last bit of energy, every last bit of anything I’ll have in my body to make sure that the Vandal family is back at the top.”
On his passions in life: “Really I have three passions in this world. My first passion is being a great husband. I work on that every day and try to get better at it every day. My second passion is to be a great father, and that’s something you can always get better at everyday. That’s why because of the hours we work, I bring him. They’ll be here all the time. And my third passion is to be the best football coach in the country.”
On recruiting regionally: “I think the Northwest is where you’ve got to make a living. … I think our base and foundation has to be a Northwest.”
Oher notes from Petrino: