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The Cradle of Quarterbacks is being led by a fellow signal-caller for the first time in nearly half a century.
Jeff Brohm, who played quarterback collegiately at Louisville and for seven seasons in the National Football League, was hired Dec. 5, 2016, as the 36th full-time head football coach in Purdue history. He is widely regarded as one of the most innovative offensive masterminds in college football.
"Purdue is known as the Cradle of Quarterbacks, and that history is very enticing," Brohm says. "We will play a brand of football that features the quarterback's strengths. Our style will be wide open and exciting, and we think the fans will enjoy watching us play."
Brohm enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career at Louisville from 1989 to 1993. A three-year starter, he ranks among the Cardinals' career leaders in touchdown passes (sixth, 38), total offense (seventh, 5,410), completion percentage (eighth, .562), passing yards (eighth, 5,451), passing efficiency (eighth, 129.97), passing attempts (ninth, 715) and completions (ninth, 402). Brohm was voted the team's Most Valuable Player during both his junior and senior seasons, and his number 11 became part of the Louisville Ring of Honor in 2006.
Brohm played in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers (1994), Washington Redskins (1995-96), San Francisco 49ers (1997-98), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1998), Denver Broncos (1999) and Cleveland Browns (2000). In eight career games - all with the 49ers - he completed 37-of-58 passes (63.8 percent) for 353 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His best game came Oct. 27, 1996, when he completed 19-of-30 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown to lead San Francisco to a 10-9 win over the Houston Oilers. In 2001, Brohm played in the XFL for the Orlando Rage and was named first team All-XFL.
Brohm's familiarity with the quarterback's psyche has shaped his coaching style.
"I've been fortunate enough to play the position and to be around a lot of great players and coaches," Brohm says. "It's important to me to make sure we take care of the quarterback. Normally, if you're doing that, helping him develop and putting him in a position to succeed, your team is going to play better."
Brohm came to the Boilermakers from Western Kentucky, where he compiled a remarkable 30-10 overall record (.750 winning percentage), including a 19-5 Conference USA mark (.792), from 2014 to 2016. The Hilltoppers were league champions in 2015 and 2016, the school's first back-to-back titles as an FBS member. They won the 2014 Bahamas Bowl (49-48 over Central Michigan) and the 2015 Miami Beach Bowl (45-35 over Miami, Fla.), as well as the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl (51-31 over Memphis under interim head coach Nick Holt). Western Kentucky was ranked No. 24 in the final 2015 Associated Press poll.
Under Brohm, the Hilltoppers averaged 44.6 points, 356.6 passing yards and 526.2 yards of total offense per game over three seasons. Their starting quarterbacks completed 69.2 percent of their passes and threw 131 touchdowns with merely 25 interceptions. The offense averaged 7.3 yards per play, while running 72.1 plays per game. Western Kentucky broke more than 75 school offensive records since 2013, when Brohm served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Western Kentucky ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense (No. 6 in 2014, No. 3 in 2015 and No. 1 in 2016), passing offense (No. 2 in 2014, No. 4 in 2015 and No. 5 in 2016) and total offense (No. 4 in 2014, No. 9 in 2015 and No. 5 in 2016) each of Brohm's three seasons as head coach.
At the same time, the Hilltoppers improved their scoring defense from 121st nationally in 2014 (39.9) to 41st in 2016 (24.6), their total defense from 120th (509.9) to 41st (367.6) and their rushing defense from 111th (220.8) to second (97.2).
Previously, Brohm served as an assistant coach at Louisville (quarterbacks 2003-06, assistant head coach/passing game 2007, assistant head coach/offensive coordinator 2008), Florida Atlantic (quarterbacks 2009), Illinois (quarterbacks 2010-11), UAB (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks 2012) and Western Kentucky (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks 2013). He began his career as the head coach of the Louisville Fire in the af2 in 2002.
Brohm was a standout player at Trinity High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He won the Kentucky Mr. Football Award as a senior in 1988 while leading the Shamrocks to a state championship and undefeated season. Brohm was named the Kentucky High School Player of the Decade for the 1980s and was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
A native of Louisville, Brohm (born April 24, 1971) earned his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1994. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a son, Brady, and a daughter, Brooke. Jeff is one of four family members to be a football letterwinner at Louisville, along with his father, Oscar (quarterback 1966-69), and brothers, Greg (wide receiver 1989-92) and Brian (quarterback 2004-07). The Brohm family, including mother, Donna, and sister, Kim, was inducted into the Louisville Catholic Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
|BROHM HEAD COACHING RECORD|
|2014||Western Kentucky||8-5||4-4||Bahamas Bowl
W 49-48 over Central Michigan
|2015||Western Kentucky||12-2||8-0||Miami Beach Bowl
W 45-35 over Miami (Fla.)
|2016||Western Kentucky||10-3||7-1||Boca Raton Bowl|
|Totals||30-10 (.750)||19-5 (.792)|
||Scoring - Rank
||Passing - Rank
||Total - Rank
||44.4 - 6th
||374.3 - 2nd
||534.6 - 4th
||44.3 - 3rd
||372.2 - 4th
||526.4 - 9th
||45.5 - 1st
||336.8 - 5th
||523.1 - 5th
|BROHM COACHING HISTORY|
|2002||Louisville Fire - af2 (head coach)|
|2007||Louisville (assistant head coach/passing game)|
|2008||Louisville (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator)|
|2009||Florida Atlantic (quarterbacks)|
|2012||UAB (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)|
|2013||Western Kentucky (assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)|
|2014-16||Western Kentucky (head coach)|