Bobby Petrino is hated by many in Atlanta.
He’s hated by many in Arkansas.
He was — and might still be — hated by many in Louisville, a college and fanbase he left jilted when he bolted to coach the Falcons in 2007.
As you know, Petrino is back with Louisville, trying to rebuild his name and reputation.
He was all smiles and selflessness at the ACC Media Days this past weekend, relating stories for caddying for his daughter Katie, who plays golf for Louisville in a column by Yahoo’s Pat Forde.
“I need prove to myself and everyone else, on a daily basis, that this is the right decision (by Louisville),” Petrino said.
Petrino is trying to prove he’s changed, that he’s different from the man who courted other schools at the end of his first stint at Louisville, who left the Falcons in the middle of the night after 13 games in 2007 when Arkansas came calling (one of the best things to ever happen to the Falcons), and who then left that school in disgrace after an ill-advised joyride with a woman who was not his wife in April 2012.
He’s spending time with his family, made significant monetary contributions to a hospital, a scholarship fund and Louisville’s marching band, and taking a more active role in the school’s athletic department.
It is one part of Petrino’s efforts to be seen as more than a cold-blooded achievatron whose identity centered on winning football games and drawing up pretty offensive plays.
“One of the things I’m going to work hard on is coaching the person as well as the player,” Petrino said in the column. “It’s something I wonder about, whether I paid that much attention to it (in previous years).”
Petrino can talk all he wants. He has a lot to prove.