Louisville fires head coach Petrino

Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino argues a call during the first quarter against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome on Friday.Photo Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville fired head coach Bobby Petrino in the midst of a seven-game losing skid, the school announced Sunday.

Petrino was dismissed in the middle of his fifth season of his second stint with the Cardinals after the team endured blowout losses to Clemson and Syracuse. The 54-23 setback to the Orange was the team’s fifth consecutive loss by double digits.

Louisville (2-8) recorded its lone victories against FCS Indiana State and Western Kentucky and is winless (0-7) in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cardinals have been outscored 291-125 over its last five contests.

The 57-year-old Petrino is owed a $14.1 million buyout by the university that will be paid out over the next few years, ESPN reported, citing a source.

“We want to thank Bobby for guiding our football program to some of the better seasons we have had historically at UofL during his two separate tenures here,” athletic director Vince Tyra said in a release. “However, at this time we feel the program needs different leadership and we owe it to our student-athletes and fans to get this turned around. I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change and it needs to start happening now.

“We expect to determine a new head coach soon to restore our football program to national prominence.”

Louisville, which did not provide an update on who will assume the role of interim coach, has surrendered more than 50 points on five occasions this season — including three straight games. The Cardinals wrap up their campaign with home games against North Carolina State and Kentucky.

Petrino, who will not coach the final two contests, posted a 77-35 record in five seasons during his second stint as Louisville’s coach. He went 41-9 in his first stint with the Cardinals from 2003-06, winning one Conference USA and one Big East title.

He is 119-56 in his career with Louisville, Arkansas and Western Kentucky.

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