Former standout Louisville Cardinals quarterback Jeff Brohm is the new head football coach for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Brohm, 42, takes over a Hilltoppers team that finished 8-4—including a win over the Kentucky Wildcats—under Bobby Petrino, who was introduced Thursday as the new head coach at Louisville.
Brohm was the offensive coordinator during Petrino one season at WKU. Brohm served as Louisville’s quarterbacks coach—coaching his younger brother Brian—during Petrino’s first stint at UofL, from 2003 to 2006.
He’d later serve a season as UofL’s offensive coordinator during Steve Kragthorpe’s ill-fated tenure, as quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic (under his coach at UofL, Howard Schnellenberger) and later at Illinois.
Brohm played high school football at Trinity High School. After UofL, he’d have stints with several NFL teams and play a season for the short-lived XFL’s Orlando Rage.
Brohm leads Western Kentucky into its sixth season in college football’s top tier.
“When I was there, we had a well-known coach who had success winning Super Bowls and national championships in Coach Schnellenberger and a program that, you know, a little bit before I got there almost shut down,” Brohm told me in August.
“This program stepped up to [the Football Bowl Subdivision] four or five years ago. We have a great leader that’s leading us through this. And hopefully, we can get things done the way that things happened at Louisville.”
Western Kentucky plans to introduce Brohm at 4:30 Friday. We’ll add comments from Brohm and the WKU administration about Brohm and Petrino’s exit at that time.
Update 5:25 p.m.: Brohm Speaks
Brohm told reporters Thursday afternoon that he’s learned from Petrino the past year and he’s looking forward to taking over “growing, fledgling program and it’s ready to take on all challenges.”
“What makes this just as special, as well, is the opportunity to coach in my home state, the state of Kentucky,” Brohm said. “Without question, I take a lot of pride in that. I not only grew up in this state but I played college football in this state, and I’ve been able to coach in this state.
“I believe there’s a lot of talent in this state. It’s a great place to live. This is a tremendous university. As you can see, the facilities are second-to-none and they’ve done a great job growing this program.”
WKU athletics director Todd Stewart said Brohm wasn’t guaranteed the job before Petrino left, but he considered the new coach to be a prospect.
“Certainly, when we hired Coach Petrino, we knew there was a possibility that he might not be here that long. We all hoped he would be here more than one year—and I think if Charlie Strong doesn’t take the Texas job, Coach Petrino is still here today,” Stewart said. “But we knew there would be a day in all probability when he wouldn’t, and he and I actually talked about that some. Jeff—certainly, when he hired Jeff—in my mind was somebody that could possibly be a head coach.”
Also, Stewart noted that he’s “confident” that WKU can eventually get a home-and-home series against Louisville, as Petrino’s contract called on him to attempt to pursue. But Stewart noted that most football schedules are set three or four years in advance.