As a child in Helena, Mont., Paul Petrino and older brother Bobby performed various jobs at their fathers practices at Carroll College, where Paul would be a record-setting quarterback years later.
When he graduated, Paul followed his father and brother into the family business coaching.
Now Petrino is getting the chance, like his father and brother, to run his own program.
Petrino is expected to be introduced as Idahos next football coach Monday. Petrino, 45, arrived at the Moscow-Pullman Airport in a private plane Sunday afternoon and was greeted by Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear. A Lewiston television station captured a picture of the pair on the tarmac.
Spear refused to confirm the hiring, which was reported by a number of outlets, but the school has scheduled a 2:30 p.m. media event to introduce its next coach.
Idaho fired sixth-year coach Robb Akey after a 1-7 start. Interim coach Jason Gesser finished 0-4.
In his next coach, Spear said he wanted someone from a successful program who understands and can recruit the Northwest, and who will bring high-character players and discipline to the program.
In Petrino, Spear found a well-traveled coach with football in his bloodlines, deep ties to the Northwest, an offensive mindset and the admiration of his players.
Hes a guy that really cares about his players. He wants you to succeed on every account, whatever it takes. He loves football. He loves being here. With that, you dont feel like you can hesitate to call him, whatever it is that you need, hes there for you, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson told The Associated Press earlier this year.
Petrino set 16 school records as a four-year starting quarterback at Carroll. He was named the NAIA Division II Player of the Year as a senior in 1988 by one publication.
He became Carrolls quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in 1990. Petrino joined John L. Smiths staff at Idaho in 1992 and coached receivers, running backs and special teams through 1994.
Petrino followed Smith to Utah State and Louisville. After a stint at Southern Miss, Petrino returned to Louisville to be offensive coordinator under his older brother, Bobby. The Cardinals went 41-9 in four seasons, including a berth in the 2006 Orange Bowl. He followed his brother to the Atlanta Falcons and then to Arkansas in 2009. Petrino was the offensive coordinator at Illinois in 2010 when the offense broke the school record for points per game (32.5).
Petrino made $475,000 per season at Arkansas. Akeys contract called for him to make $375,796 this season. Idaho still must pay Akeys base salary of $165,796 through December 2014.
Petrino was one of five reported finalists for the position, including Gesser, Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett, San Jose State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren and Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444;Twitter: @MurphsTurph