BOZICH | Purdue? Cincinnati? Baylor? Jeff Brohm's dazzling work - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Purdue? Cincinnati? Baylor? Jeff Brohm's dazzling work at WKU creates options

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WKU football coach Jeff Brohm celebrated with his daughter, Brooke, after the Hilltoppers won the CUSA title Saturday. WKU football coach Jeff Brohm celebrated with his daughter, Brooke, after the Hilltoppers won the CUSA title Saturday.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) — If Purdue University is intent on reminding the world that Drew Brees and Bob Griese once played football there, they should continue to pursue Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm.

Cincinnati football has a bigger problem. Tommy Tuberville has squandered the energy Butch Jones, Brian Kelly and Mark Dantonio created with the Bearcats. On Sunday morning, Football Scoop reported that Tuberville planned to resign.

The solution: Keep calling Brohm. He can fix it.

The problems at Baylor are more daunting than the issues at Cincinnati or Purdue. Never mind losing games. Baylor lost control of the culture around its program.

No wonder the football coach, athletic director and university president were all bounced -- and the new regime wants to speak with Brohm ASAP.

Brohm will embarrass opposing defenses but not his administration. Brohm can lift Baylor in every way the Bears need to be lifted out of their current malaise.

I’d put Oregon on the list, too, but I believe that Purdue, Cincinnati and Baylor are the jobs to track on the Jeff Brohm Watch.

Don’t forget one other position: That is the one that Brohm has handled with grace, poise, humility, determination and success — the one he has filled with 30 victories in 40 games over the last three seasons at Western  Kentucky.

Brohm put the latest exclamation point on his WKU career Saturday when his surging 10-3 team defeated Louisiana Tech, 58-44, for the program’s second straight Conference USA title. It was the Toppers’ seventh straight victory — and the seventh straight time Brohm deflected credit to his players and assistants.

“I’ll try to do the right thing and do it the right way,” said Brohm, who learned that many years ago from his parents, Oscar and Donna Brohm.

“I love to win, but I don’t care who gets the credit.”

If you told me that Brohm will be the coach at Purdue, Cincinnati or Baylor next season, I would believe that.

If you told me that Brohm will return to WKU for a fourth season, I would not call you a helpless homer. I’d believe that, too.

Brohm is not driven by money nor bright lights. He has enjoyed serving as the WKU head coach as much as he celebrated winning state championships at Trinity, quarterbacking Louisville to a victory in the Liberty Bowl or throwing an NFL touchdown pass to Terrell Owens.

“It’s definitely been extremely fun the last couple of years,” he said.

WKU athletic director Todd Stewart is more than his boss. Stewart is Brohm’s friend. 

WKU can’t pay Brohm as much as the $2 million plus he would earn at a higher profile FBS school. He is making about $800,000 this season. 

But if Brohm leaves WKU he won’t be chasing dollars. He’ll be chasing the challenge of proving that he can coach football as well as all the guys who mentored him — and do it at the highest level of the college game.

Those mentors are Dennis Lampley, Howard Schnellenberger, Bobby Ross, George Seifert, Tony Dungy, Bobby Petrino and others, including his father, still the quarterback coach at Trinity. You can see the influence of all of them in the way Brohm handles his players and runs his team.

One Brohm friend explained it to me perfectly Saturday evening: Brohm’s situation is similar to the one that Chris Petersen created at Boise State.

Petersen won and won and won — and stayed and stayed and stayed, for eight seasons. Petersen turned down multiple opportunities before he finally secured the one that he wanted at Washington before the 2014 season.

On Sunday Petersen is likely to be rewarded with one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff in merely his third season in Seattle.

I’m not saying Jeff Brohm is staying at WKU. I’m not saying he’s leaving.

I am saying that Jeff Brohm has never done anything silly in his football career and I wouldn’t expect that to change next week.

Remember: This is a guy who turned down scholarships at Notre Dame, Tennessee and elsewhere to play quarterback at U of L when Schnellenberger was mostly selling a dream.

How did Charlie Strong once say it? Jeff Brohm isn’t cut like other coaches.

Stewart said that he has not been called by another school for permission to speak with Brohm, although Stewart acknowledged that the coaching carousel is driven by search firms that work end runs around administrators.

Brohm has an attorney, but not a national agent like Jimmy Sexton or Trace Armstrong, guys who represent the top coaches.

WKU president Dr. Gary Ransdell said that he expected the situation to be resolved in the next week. Ransdell knows Brohm is desirable. He’s watched the school lose guys like Petrino (U of L) and Willie Taggart (USF) in football and Darrin Horn (South Carolina) and Dennis Felton (Georgia) in basketball. It’s the game within the game.

“The trajectory of this program is set,” Ransdell said. “We’ll always have an outstanding coach here.”

What will Brohm do?

He’s not saying. There’s nothing to say — yet.

There’s only plenty of time for the rest of us to speculate.

This is not Jeff Brohm speaking. This my opinion:

I’d scratch Purdue. Tough place to recruit. The last two coaches were asked to leave. It’s no better than the fourth-best job in the Big Ten West — behind Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa.

Ditto for Baylor. Too much uncertainty. You’re not Texas. You’re not Texas A&M. It’s a long way from your recruiting sweet spot — and nearly all of the commitments in the Bears’ 2017 class have fled. I can already hear people howling for Art Briles to come back to replace the next Baylor coach that does not win

The Cincinnati job is the one I like. Dantonio used it to get to Notre Dame. Kelly used it to get to Notre Dame. Jones used it to get to Tennessee.

You can win in Cincinnati. Brohm knows the area. It’s close to home. Nippert Stadium sparkles after a delightful renovation.

But here is the kicker: If none of those situations shake out, Brohm can stay at Western the way Petersen stayed at Boise State. 

We’ll have an answer soon. Jeff Brohm will make a wise and thoughtful decision. He always has.

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