Bobby Petrino's name has typically been one of the first to surface when marquee coaching jobs open up around the country.
Thanks to the new deal Petrino recently agreed to with Arkansas, he's confident that's about to change.
Petrino is dug in about as deeply as he can be at Arkansas, which is only reinforced by the $18 million buyout (on both sides) that's in effect over the next two years.
"The reason we have such a big buyout is that next December at this time, we don’t want to have to hear names come up in conversations about other jobs being open,” Petrino said. “Everybody understands that this is where I’m going to be. This is the job I want. Next year, we don't have to worry about anything."
Despite his reputation for being a coaching nomad, Petrino has said for the past year that he's settled in at Arkansas for the long haul. As part of his new deal that will pay him $3.56 million per year and run through the 2017 season, he also has a non-compete clause that extends to the entire SEC. His old contract prohibited him only from going to another SEC Western Division school.
And even in the final year of his contract, the buyout is still $3.9 million.
Petrino said his wife, Becky, was also a big part of the decision to lock into such an iron-clad deal.
"It's something that wasn't hard, not a hard decision at all," Petrino said. "It's something we're really happy about."
With the Hogs heading to their first-ever BCS bowl, Petrino is convinced that they can continue to compete at the "highest level" of football. He said the commitment is solidly in place to do so, and added that his assistant coaches are also poised to get nice raises.
As excited as Arkansas fans were about the direction of the program under Petrino, there was always that trepidation that they might lose him to another school. When Urban Meyer stepped down at Florida last week, there was genuine concern that Petrino might be a candidate.
There's no reason for that type of concern anymore. It's clear that Petrino thinks he can win a championship (or championships) at Arkansas, and it's full speed ahead with him at the helm.