MOSCOW – The University of Idaho and head football coach Paul Petrino will part ways after Saturday's season finale at Idaho State, Athletic Director Terry Gawlik announced Thursday.
Petrino is 33-66 in his nine seasons at the helm of the Vandals. His tenure was highlighted by the 2016 season that saw the Vandals go 9-4 and take home the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Championship with a 61-50 win over Colorado State. His time in Moscow also included a transition from FBS to FCS and a return to the Big Sky Conference.
"I'm very proud of all we accomplished during my time leading this program," Petrino said. "I want to thank our current and former players as well as every coach who has been a part of this program over the past nine years. They are what make this such a special place. I wish nothing but continued success for the current team and will always be in their corner."
Petrino's teams were marked by strong academics and high graduation rates. After taking the helm before the 2013 season, the Vandals made an immediate jump in APR (Academic Progress Rate). The academic improvement was indicative of a complete overhaul of the program.
"I have nothing but the utmost respect for Paul. He is a man of integrity and strong character," Gawlik said. "He has helped hundreds of football student-athletes become better men. I am personally grateful for his loyalty to Vandal Athletics, his willingness to be a team player and the care and attention that he gave to his student-athletes."
Petrino was named the Sun Belt Coach of the Year for the 2016 season after leading Idaho to a 6-2 league record. The Vandals are 14-25 since reclassifying to FCS football and rejoining the Big Sky. Idaho has a four-year league record of 10-19.
Idaho Athletics will immediately begin a nation-wide search for a new head football coach.
"We are committed to competing at the top of the Big Sky Conference and the FCS," Gawlik said. "We will work tirelessly to find a dynamic coach that will lead the Vandals back to the playoffs. Our goals are lofty, and our expectations are high, but we know the Vandal family expects nothing less than championship-caliber football in the Kibbie Dome."