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Idaho Football
Sports >  Idaho football

Ex-UI quarterback Petrino lands GA gig at Lamar

UPDATED: Mon., April 13, 2020

Quarterbacks Mason Petrino (8) and Colton Richardson (19) smile during Idaho’s Silver and Gold Scrimmage on Friday, April 19, 2019, in Moscow. Petrino has earned a graduate assistant coach’s position at Lamar. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Quarterbacks Mason Petrino (8) and Colton Richardson (19) smile during Idaho’s Silver and Gold Scrimmage on Friday, April 19, 2019, in Moscow. Petrino has earned a graduate assistant coach’s position at Lamar. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
By Colton Clark Lewiston Tribune

Former Idaho quarterback Mason Petrino will add to his family’s coaching legacy.

According to his Twitter account, the son of eighth-year Idaho coach Paul Petrino has landed a gig as an offensive graduate assistant at Lamar University (Texas), where he’ll work under first-year coach Blane Morgan, who previously served for five seasons as San Diego State’s quarterbacks coach.

Mason Petrino, who graduated from Pullman High School in 2016, started 21 games at quarterback for the Vandals in his last two years after mostly being employed as a flex offensive player in his early Idaho days. He ended his senior campaign with a near-perfect performance – a 563-yard, seven-touchdown send-off in a memorable 60-53 overtime win at Northern Arizona. He was tabbed Big Sky Player of the Week and named an honorable mention on the all-league team afterward.

In 2019, Petrino passed for 2,106 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions on a 62.4% completion rate. He added 217 rushing yards and two scores but was top-two in the Big Sky in giveaways. During his junior year, he split reps with Lewiston’s Colton Richardson before eventually taking the job, ending 2018 with 1,933 passing yards, 15 scores and eight picks on 59.7%.

He got his first taste of the position in 2017, when he filled in for a game and a half for injured starter Matt Linehan before sustaining a shoulder injury, which he fought through for the better part of his career.

Petrino was an often-polarizing figure among the fan base at UI, stemming from his relationship with the coach, under-recruited nature at the position, smaller stature – with an inability to stretch the field – and a handful of rough outings.

But he had his moments, too, and ostensibly no one had challenged him enough for the job. He went 8-13 as UI’s starter in its return to the Big Sky and the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA).

Petrino has been commended by teammates and coaches for his high football IQ – almost coach-like – and toughness, a trait his Montanan family prides itself on. He consistently played through bell-ringers and took on a leadership role for the Vandals.

The grandson of the late, storied Carroll College coach Bob Petrino Sr. – and nephew of Missouri State’s Bobby Petrino, a former UI coordinator and nine-year Louisville coach – was most impressive in his finale, and on Sept. 21, during a 35-27 upset win over No. 11 Eastern Washington, in which he was unshakable. His best showing of 2018 came on Nov. 3 at home against North Dakota, when he led a last-minute scoring drive, capped by a game-winning, back-corner touchdown toss to Jeff Cotton.

Petrino was an all-Great Northern League standout in football and soccer in Pullman, where the family has lived since Paul Petrino took the UI job after the 2012 season.

The Lamar Cardinals are an FCS team in the Southland Conference. They’re coming off a 4-8 season, but in 2018 went 7-5 and made the FCS playoffs for the first time in program history. Poor support forced Lamar to discontinue its football program from 1990-2009.

The Cardinals’ co-offensive coordinator, Ron Antoine, was a running backs/tight ends coach at Arkansas in 2008-09, alongside Paul (offensive coordinator) and Bobby Petrino (head coach).

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