This is what you signed up for, Hilltopper fans. It's too late for hindsight now.
Truthfully, though--You shouldn't want to go back.
Your (now former) head coach Bobby Petrino more than delivered his end of the bargain in his sole season at WKU.
On Dec. 10, 2012, to the fanfare of most Topper faithful, the two-time BCS bowl-qualifier was announced as the new head man at Western Kentucky.
Despite his well-documented past, the glee most WKU supporters felt was a natural reaction for the broken-hearted, those still reeling from Willie Taggart’s departure.
Everyone loves to feel redeemed. And when Petrino came to save the day, that’s exactly how Topper fans felt.
“Who’s got it better than us now, Willie?”
But just over a year later, it’s all come full circle, as the reasonable knew it would.
Petrino is starting over-—again—-this time back with the Louisville Cardinals.
And WKU is--again--without a head coach.
Take a second to reflect though, starting with the season opener.
A 35-26 victory over Kentucky, a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates.
Most college football fans in the state called WKU’s 2012 victory over the Cats a fluke. A lucky win on an overtime two-point conversion.
Your ex-ball coach made proving those folks wrong a priority, forever changing the state’s perception of WKU for the better by dominating every aspect against the in-state charter SEC member.
How many Topper fans will never forget where they were during that Andrew Jackson blitz?
And because of the leader at the helm, national and major state media outlets covered the ups and downs of WKU’s season more than ever before, paying dividends in publicity for the school.
Sure, there were a mixture of good stories and bad.
But hey, there's no such thing as bad publicity, right? Especially considering WKU’s baby-sized, growing footprint on the FBS landscape.
Besides, thanks to a combination of hard work and negotiating prowess from athletic director Todd Stewart, your university is actually going to make money—-not lose it—-off employing one of the best coaches in the country for a season.
The same coach who led your school to its best regular season finish in their short FBS history.
Were many anxiously waiting to see how far Petrino and WKU could reach in his second year? Sure, and it’s fair to be disappointed that those visions won’t materialize.
But don’t forget, this is what you signed up for from the start.
In just one year, Petrino delivered you a major perception-altering victory, unprecedented national publicity, multiple school records—and assuming most stick—a fantastic recruiting class currently ranked at the top of both the Sun Belt and Conference USA.
Just like all mutual business agreements, now it’s time to accept your end of the bargain.
Shake his hand, and send him on his way.
Who’s the early favorites for the next Topper head coach? Head over to WKUInsider’s coaching hot board HERE.
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