"A trainer or director in athletics. To mentor or train. To prepare by teaching, training or drilling."
These are some of the definitions of the word "coach."
Those terms could also describe the Petrinos, a name that's synonymous with Capital High and Carroll College football. From 1971-98, Bob "Putter" Petrino, Sr. coached the Saints to 16 Frontier championships. Bob and Patsy Petrino's sons — Bobby (Putter Jr.) and Paul — both standout CHS and Carroll gridders, are currently the head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively, at the University of Louisville.
And their daughters, Jolene, Kellie and Rosie (pretty fair athletes themselves) are all in the similar field of teaching.
Bob Petrino Sr. attended Butte Central from 1951-55, where he played football, basketball and baseball. An all-state end/linebacker, in 1953 he helped beat Butte High with an 81-yard touchdown catch, which is the longest scoring reception ever in the Bulldog-Maroon crosstown.
Bob played on three state championship teams: 1952 Butte Central football, 1953 Butte Legion baseball and 1957 Butte McQueen's Copper League baseball.
After gridding and diamonding for Western Montana, he began his coaching career in 1959. His first jobs were directing high school football and basketball at Grass Range, Moore and Harlowton. In 1964 he guided the Harlowton Locomotives to the Class B state hoops championship. Bob then coached football at his alma mater Butte Central from 1965-70, beating the Bulldogs twice and capturing the Class A state title in 1969.
He became Carroll's head coach in 1971, and over the next 28 years compiled a 163-90-2 record, competing in nine NAIA playoffs. Bob experienced four undefeated regular seasons (1973, 1978, 1986, 1988) and received 12 Frontier Coach of the Year awards.
Coach Petrino is a member of four Hall of Fames: MHSA - 1987, Butte - 1991, NAIA - 1993 and Carroll College - 1999; as well as part of six teams in the Butte Sports Hall of Fame.
Patricia (Smith) Petrino graduated from the Butte Central girls school in 1955. She was a cheerleader and speed skater, winning several city skating championships. In the 1960s when Patsy mentored her children's skating in Butte, Bob said that it was his job to sharpen their skates before every race. "And if one of the kids fell, I got reprimanded for not sharpening the skates good enough," he joked.
The couple's first child, Jolene, graduated from Capital in 1976. She ran cross country and track, and was a cadet. In 1974, she was a member of the Bruins' only state championship harrier team. Jolene and husband Ken Dow (CHS gridder) reside in Billings, where she is a teacher at St. Francis Upper School. Their children are twins Keith and Kenny, and Cassie.
Kellie graduated from Capital in 1977, where she excelled on the balance beam in gymnastics and was a cheerleader. She and Jolene also were pretty decent softball players in the city league. Kellie, who is married to CHS head football coach Mark Samson, is a teacher at Broadwater. Their children are Bruin all-state gridders Kyle and Marc, and daughter Tricia Samson.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino sparked Capital to its first state grid crown in 1978. He was an All-American in basketball and football in both high school and college. As Carroll's QB, he set 13 school records, was named Frontier Conference MVP twice and was part of two conference crowns. Bobby and wife Becky are the parents of Kelsey, Nick, Bob III and Katie.
Rosie was a cheerleader and ran track and cross country at CHS. She qualified for the state track meet in the 880 as a sophomore in what her dad considers "one of the gutsiest single athletic accomplishments I've ever seen. I almost got her disqualified, though," said Bob, "because I got excited and was running next to her on the infield." Rosie and husband Greg Ellendsen, whose children are Jerry and Angie, live in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, where she is a reading specialist, coaching (there's that word again) the teachers.
Paul was a Class AA MVP and All-American for the Bruins in 1984, and went on to break most of his older brother's records at Carroll. Quarterbacking the Saints from 1985-88, they went 36-6 (33-2 for the regular season) and qualified for the NAIA playoffs each year. Paul established 22 school records for passing, rushing, scoring and total offense; received first team all-conference selections four times; was twice named Frontier MVP; and was a two-time all-American. A tough, durable competitor, in four years he missed only one play.
Paul, wife Maya and twins Anne Mari and Mason reside in Louisville, Ky., where he has assisted brother Bob's Cardinals to a 9-3 record.
All of the Petrino siblings graduated from Carroll College with degrees in education.
In retirement, Bob Sr. has enjoyed following his son's coaching careers and his grandchildren's sporting events. He and Patsy are now readying to travel to Mobile, Alabama, on Dec. 18, to witness Louisville take on Miami of Ohio in the GMAC Bowl.