Petrino Takes Center Stage As New Coach In Moscow - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Idaho Vandals Football

Petrino Takes Center Stage As New Coach In Moscow

© Idaho president Duane Nellis hands Paul Petrino a football as he introduces him as the school's new head football coach (Photo: SWX) © Idaho president Duane Nellis hands Paul Petrino a football as he introduces him as the school's new head football coach (Photo: SWX)
MOSCOW, Idaho -

Paul Petrino is the new head football coach at the University of Idaho. Athletic Director Rob Spear and university president Duane Nellis introduced their new hire Monday at a news conference in Moscow.

Petrino, a former Vandal assistant coach and Arkansas offensive coordinator, said "returning the Vandal family to the top" is his ultimate goal.

"Today is really about what the University of Idaho CAN be," said Spear before Nellis introduced Petrino at the podium. "We've just proven today with this hiring that we can hire one of the best coaches in the country, one of the most innovative offensive minds in the country."

Petrino, decked out in a dark suit and gold tie, said he looks forward to staying in Moscow for a long time. From a football perspective, he is committed to bringing a high-powered offense back to Moscow that features the quarterback and a mindset he calls "FTS" or "Feed The Studs".

"An offense that went up the field, that threw the ball all over the place, that made a bunch of plays," said Petrino. "That's something - we want to get that excitement, that fire, that vision that people want to come to watch us, and the ball is going up and down the field and we're scoring all sorts of points."

Defensively, he wants a team that "hits the quarterback from the time he steps off the bus until the time he leaves."

Petrino was raised in Montana as the son of a football coach. He was an All-American quarterback at Carroll College from 1985-88. After working as an assistant at Idaho in the 90s, he jumped to and from several programs until he landed at Arkansas last season as an offensive coordinator under John L. Smith, another former Vandal.

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