Bobby Petrino resigns as Atlanta Falcons coach after 13 games

By: associated press
By: associated press

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons say coach Bobby Petrino
resigned today, after just 13 games with the NFL team. A person
within the league tells The Associated Press that Petrino quit to return to the college ranks at Arkansas.

The Falcons say they will have no further comment on Petrino's decision until a news conference tomorrow with owner Arthur Blank
and general manager Rich McKay.

Petrino left Louisville to become Falcons coach in January for a five-year, 24 million dollar contract. Atlanta felt he could help star quarterback Michael Vick reach his full potential.

A few months later, Vick came under investigation for a dogfighting operation that eventually led to a 23-month prison sentence yesterday.

A source familiar with Patrino's decision, speaking on condition of anonymity because the school has not made an official announcement, says he is going to Arkansas. The Razorbacks have been looking for a coach for two weeks to replace Houston Nutt, who resigned after a tumultuous season and took the Mississippi job.

The school had no immediate comment on its coaching search.

There is no word on who will take over as head coach for the Falcons' final three games, though defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson would be the most
logical candidates.

After losing Vick, Petrino tried three other starting quarterbacks without success. The Falcons are 3-10 and assured of the 32nd losing season in their 42-year history.

Petrino assembled one of college football's highest-scoring offenses at Louisville. But the Falcons were anemic without Vick. They also were plagued by injuries on the offensive line, which forced them to start two players who weren't even drafted out of college.


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