ATLANTA, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Bobby Petrino has been hired as head coach by the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, six months after signing a 10-year contract with the University of Louisville.
The Falcons, on their Web site, said Petrino had accepted what he described as "truly the best job in the National Football League."
He replaces Jim Mora, who was fired News Year's Day after the Falcons finished the 2006 season with a 7-9 record. Mora coached Atlanta for three seasons, during which the team was 26-22.
Petrino last week led Louisville to a 24-13 victory over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Orange Bowl to complete a 12-1 season. The Cardinals were 41-9 under Petrino over four seasons.
Louisville had signed the coach to a 10-year, $25.5 million contract last July since Petrino had been contacted previously by several NFL teams about coaching vacancies.
"First and foremost, I thank (Falcons officials) for what I truly feel is the best job in the National Football League," Petrino said in the Falcons' Web site. "I am excited about the challenge that awaits me in Atlanta, and I'm equally excited about the potential that I see in this team."