MOSCOW, Idaho - The Idaho Vandals have found the man they want to replace Robb Akey, and lead the football program into a future that includes some unchartered waters.

The University of Idaho announced Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino as Idaho's next head coach at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Petrino's coaching career started as an assistant at his alma mater Carroll College.

He was hired at Idaho in 1992 and coached for three seasons in Moscow, from 1992-1994. Among the players he coached was All-American and Vandal Athletics Hall of Famer Sherriden May one on what has become a lengthy list of standout players, record-holders and NFL draftees coached by Petrino.

After his stint at Idaho, Petrino coached at Utah State, Louisville, Illinois, Southern Mississippi and, most recently, Arkansas. He also spent one season with the NFL Atlanta Falcons.

This will be the Butte, Montana native's first head coaching job. He takes over a program that just wrapped up its final season in the WAC, and will play an independent schedule in 2013 and 2014.

I m very excited, Petrino said. It s a dream come true. I ve wanted to be a head coach my whole life. I had a chance to come back out to the Northwest.

He and his wife, Maya, have three children two daughters, Ava and Anne Mari, and a son, Mason. Anne Mari and Mason are twins.

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