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Petrino takes job at Western Kentucky

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • December 10, 2012 - 9:00 PM

Bobby Petrino was hired as football coach at Western Kentucky University eight months after being fired from the job at Arkansas following a motorcycle crash that injured him and a 25-year-old female staff member.

"At this point in my career, it's about getting back and coaching players," Petrino said. "It just happened to open up at a place we love.

"I hope it can be as long as possible"

Petrino, 51, succeeds Willie Taggart, who left the Hilltoppers last week to become coach at South Florida. Western Kentucky was 7-5 this season and is playing Central Michigan in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26.

Petrino was fired by Arkansas in April after he was injured in the accident and then covered up the fact that Jessica Dorrell, a member of his staff, was a passenger.

He later acknowledged having an "inappropriate relationship" with Dorrell and giving her about $20,000 worth of gifts. Dorrell resigned from her job a week after the accident.

"I'm going to be able to sit down with mom and dad and the student-athlete and make them understand how this experience has made me a better coach, a better person and will make me understand their son better," Petrino said.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity I'll be able to give student athletes when they make a mistake."

Petrino had a 34-17 record in four seasons at Arkansas, leading the Razorbacks to a Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State.

Kugler returns to UTEP

UTEP hired Sean Kugler as its new coach, bringing in a former Miners' player and coach to replace the retired Mike Price.

Kugler spent almost three years as the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive line coach, following stints with the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions. He also worked at Boise State. He played for current UTEP athletic director Bob Stull, graduating in 1988, and later coached at the school for eight seasons.

Kugler was on UTEP's staff from 1993 to 2000.

Thomsen to coach Tech

Texas Tech says offensive line coach Chris Thomsen will serve as interim coach of the Red Raiders for their bowl game against the Gophers.

Thomsen got the nod two days after Tommy Tuberville left to take the head coaching position at Cincinnati. Also Monday, Neal Brown, the team's offensive coordinator the past three years, resigned to take the same job at Kentucky.

The Red Raiders play Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston on Dec. 28.

Thomsen was 51-21 in seven seasons at Abilene Christian and led the Wildcats to the NCAA Division II playoffs six consecutive seasons. He arrived at Texas Tech in February.

Etc.

• Mike MacIntyre turned around the San Jose State program in short order and will be asked to do the same at Colorado. MacIntyre signed a five-year deal to coach the Buffaloes. His hiring ends a two-week search by Colorado that included a rejection by its first choice, Butch Jones.

• All-Big Ten defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins will give up his senior season at Ohio State to make himself available for the 2013 NFL draft.

• Injured South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore will enter the NFL draft, people familiar with the decision said.

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