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In Praise of Jeff Brohm

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports


Brohm is a name synonymous with the University of Louisville, football, this city, and by now, the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Brohms are our version of the Mannings and both families have DIRECTV. Jeff Brohm's impressive and storied pedigree would be the envy of most football programs looking for a homerun hire. However, Jeff is more than just his biography. His results are real and he has cemented Western Kentucky as the second best football program in the state of Kentucky. He has seen it all, done it all, heard it all, and learned from some of the greatest. It is finally time for Jeff Brohm to get his due.

As a proud alumnus of the University of South Carolina and the University of Louisville, recent events have presented an opportunity for me to have my cake and eat it too. Steve Spurrier arrived at South Carolina one year before I decided to take my talents to Columbia and maybe one day I'll old-man-exaggerate and tell my grandkids how I was once escorted around campus by Coach Spurrier in his custom golf cart. The grandkids will probably respond by asking "what are golf carts?" and "who is Spurrier", but I'd be lying, and so would many other Gamecocks of that timeframe, if I claimed Spurrier's presence didn't influence my decision to attend the University of South Carolina. The Head Ball Coach retired Monday night and his impact on my University and the Palmetto State will be felt for generations. Spurrier transformed college football and evolved from being the most hated man in the SEC to everyone's favorite crazy, yet lovable uncle. Thank you Coach Spurrier, for everything.

Jeff Brohm was given a raw deal by Louisville and run out of town in embarrassing fashion during the Kragthorpe Katastrophe. Brohm turned down a position with Nick Saban at Alabama to remain in Louisville with his brother Brian as they attempted to bring a championship to the school and city they love so much. I am not sure if those wounds will ever heal, but Jeff Landed on his feet and is now shattering records in Bowling Green. Before we get to his head coaching accomplishments, let's examine his journey.

Brohm played quarterback at UofL under legendary coach and motivator, Howard Schnellenberger, was a three year starter and finished his senior year going 9-3 defeating Michigan State in the Liberty Bowl. Jeff went onto the NFL beginning his career in San Diego before becoming Steve Young's back up from 1995-1997 in San Francisco. He also had stints with the Buccaneers, Broncos, and Browns, but one of his most successful and memorable professional moments came from his time in the XFL.

Brohm entered coaching in 2003 at the University of Louisville under then and now head coach, Bobby Petrino. Jeff was the quarterbacks coach and helped guide Louisville to its most successful era in school history. He had quarterbacks lead the nation in passing efficiency and completion percentage. In 2007, he was quarterback coach and passing game coordinator, and in 2008 he was the offensive coordinator before becoming the scapegoat in an attempt to save Kragthorpe. In 2009, Brohm reunited with Schellenberger at Florida Atlantic where the Owls averaged 432.1 yards of total offense per game.

After Howard retired, Brohm became the quarterback coach at Illinois from 2010-2011, and spent 2012 as the offensive coordinator at UAB. In 2013, Coach Petrino came calling and Jeff Brohm became Bobby's offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky. In 2013, Brohm and Petrino's offense broke 18 single-season school records including total offense, individual passing yards and individual rushing yards. After Petrino left for Louisville, Jeff Brohm was introduced as head coach almost immediately and has Western's offense exploding into the record books. In 2014, WKU broke 50 school and conference records, including the school's single-season and single-game records in total yards, touchdown passes, points scored in a season, and several others. Jeff Brohm also deserves credit for quarterback Brandon Doughty, the nation's top passer in 2014. In his first season as a starter, Doughty threw 14 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, but improved drastically when Brohm took over the offense. Doughty threw for 49 touchdown passes and 4,830 yards in 2014, both good for number one in the nation.

Thus far in 2015, Brohm's offense is ranked 13th in total offense, 3rd in passing offense, 1st in completion percentage, and 8th in scoring offense. Jeff's quarterback is 2nd in passing yards, 3rd in passing touchdowns, and 1st in completion percentage. Statistics and winning records aside, Brohm has always been a great recruiter and knows the southeast and the state of Florida better than most. He understands how to evaluate and mold talent, and what quarterback wouldn't want to learn from him? Jeff Brohm has Western Kentucky competing on a national level and his offense has fireworks manufacturers working overtime.

Coach Petrino was my number one choice for our Cardinals when Charlie Strong bolted for Texas, I got my wish. With Steve Spurrier exiting South Carolina, Jeff Brohm sits atop my wish list for my first alma mater. Brohm's resume is longer and more impressive than any Christmas list of an only child, and his results as a head coach speaks for itself. Coach Spurrier turned Carolina into a destination job, here's hoping Ray Tanner makes a smart choice and a former Cardinal Legend finally gets his due.

All Hail UofL !! Forever to Thee !!