Urban Meyer was fired as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars early Thursday.
He was 2-11 this season and the firing comes on the heels of a long list of reckless decisions and careless actions.
Meyer becomes just the latest in a long line of former college coaches who failed to find success at the NFL level.
The last time a former college coach left his pro team before the end of his first year was Bobby Petrino.
Since 1980, only 2 head coaches didn't make it through their first NFL season
Urban Meyer (fired by Jaguars, 2021)
Bobby Petrino (resigned from Falcons, 2007) pic.twitter.com/quu59BMe8W
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 16, 2021
Petrino had turned around the University of Louisville before being lured to the NFL by the Atlanta Falcons in 2007.
With three games remaining in the season, Petrino left Atlanta to become the head coach at Arkansas.
Here is a look back at the short professional coaching career of Petrino.
Petrino was a quarterback at tiny Carroll College in Helena, Montana.
After graduating, he worked his way up the coaching ladder from the FCS to the FBS level.
At every stop, Petrino worked on the offensive side of the ball, particularly with quarterbacks. \
He was also the offensive coordinator with Idaho, Nevada, Utah State, Louisville and Auburn.
Fun with photos: Here's Bobby Petrino's mug shot from his one season at Nevada as Chris Ault's offensive coordinator in 1994. Nevada went 9-2 and averaged 37.6 ppg, third most in the NCAA. The Wolf Pack averaged 507.2 ypg en route to a Big West title. pic.twitter.com/kZTrUdvATg
— Chris Murray (@ByChrisMurray) April 13, 2021
From 1999-2001, Petrino was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Jaguars.
In 2003, he returned to Louisville to become the head coach.
During four seasons with the school, the Cardinals won nine games or more each season, including 11 and 12-win seasons in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
The program also appeared in four bowl games, winning two and finishing as high as number six in the nation (2004 and 2006).
Louisville’s administration was so thrilled with Petrino that they signed him to a 10-year, $25.6 million contract on July 13, 2006.
Off To Atlanta
Not quite six months after signing his 10-year deal, Petrino decided to return to the pros.
He was excited by the opportunity to work with quarterback Michael Vick and signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Falcons on January 7, 2007.
Unfortunately, Petrino’s arrival coincided with Vick’s arrest for running an illegal dogfighting operation.
While awaiting his trial, Vick was not permitted to leave his home state of Virginia.
After seven games, the Falcons were 1-6.
They won two games after their bye, then dropped their next four.
On December 10, Atlanta lost to New Orleans.
That same day, the world found out that Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison for his dogfighting ring.
Perhaps daunted with the task at hand, Petrino picked that moment to share with the media that he was leaving Atlanta to coach at Arkansas.
Petrino let the Falcons players know of his intentions by leaving a four-sentence laminated note at each of their lockers.
Just replace Atlanta Falcons with Jacksonville Jaguars and Bobby Petrino with Urban Meyer and ta-da. pic.twitter.com/13U5sjH89k
— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) October 5, 2021
Similarities To Meyer
Besides the Jacksonville connection, the similarities between Petrino and Meyer are troubling.
Both coaches alienated their players due to questionable game planning and poor treatment.
Both lasted only 13 games with their respective teams.
Meyer was spotted with a young woman (that wasn’t his wife) at a bar after the Jags game against Cincinnati in early October.
Petrino wasn’t connected with a mistress while in Atlanta.
However, he was caught in an adulterous affair while at Arkansas.
Petrino informed his players of his departure with a note.
Meyer, according to the Associated Press, left the Jacksonville facility after practice on Wednesday and never returned.
Darrell Bevell confirms that Urban Meyer left the Jaguars facility after practice yesterday and never returned, leaving staff to prep without him.
Heard they were in the dark as to where he was and what was happening.
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 16, 2021
Petrino has never coached in the NFL since his sudden departure in 2007 and is currently the head coach at Missouri State.
After his debacle as head coach of the Jaguars, it’s also safe to say that Meyer will not return to the NFL anytime soon.NEXT: It's Time For Matt Ryan To Leave The Falcons