Dec. 7, 2004
SportsLine.com wire reports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said he plans to stay with the Cardinals, taking himself off the market for teams with coaching vacancies.

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"I want to make it clear that I'm not interested in any other coaching jobs, and am happy at the University of Louisville," Petrino said in a statement issued by the school.

The statement came after the Mississippi athletic director Pete Boone said that Petrino's agent had contacted him about that school's coaching vacancy. Boone said Petrino's agent later called back and said that the coach was no longer interested.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said Tuesday night he was worried he wouldn't be able to convince Petrino to stay.

"If I was an athletic director at any of these high-profile universities, he'd be the first guy on my list," Jurich said. "He's put together a magnificent product."

Petrino guided the Cardinals to a 10-1 record, a Conference USA championship this season and a No. 7 ranking, the highest in the school's football history. His two-year mark at Louisville is 19-5.

The Cardinals were led this season by a high-powered offense. Louisville became the first team in NCAA history to score at least 55 points in five straight games after beating Tulane 55-7 last Saturday.

The Cardinals will play Boise State in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

Petrino said he was excited about Louisville's move to the Big East Conference next season, which gives the Cardinals an automatic bid to the BCS.

He also mentioned personal reasons for wanting to stay.

"Louisville is the perfect place to raise a family and I plan for all four of my children to graduate from high school in Louisville," he said.

Petrino's contract at Louisville was extended through 2010 earlier this year, with a base salary of $550,000 a year.

Petrino has had discussions with Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich about possibly enhancing the coach's contract, football sports information director Rocco Gasparro said Tuesday.

Petrino had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the coaching jobs at Notre Dame and Florida. The Gators ended up hiring Utah coach Urban Meyer, and the Fighting Irish are still looking for a successor to Tyrone Willingham.

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