Nothing wrong with Jeff Brohm to Louisville talk since it's clear what's next
WEST LAFAYETTE – It’s never going away, is it?
“It doesn’t look like it,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said recently.
It is Brohm, Louisville and coaching the Cardinals program. It’s Brohm’s hometown. It’s where he attended high school and was a star athlete. He played at Louisville and was a star quarterback. The Brohm name carries weight in Louisville and there’s plenty of support for him and the family across the city.
Most of his family still resides there. Brothers Greg and Brian work at Purdue, but everyone connected to the family remains in Louisville. They’re not going anywhere, and Jeff is staying in West Lafayette.
He turned down the job in 2018 after two seasons with the Boilermakers. It wasn't the right time.
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Why is this subject coming up, again?
During a speaking engagement in Louisville at the Flaget High School alumni association earlier this month, Brohm was asked:
“How much pressure did you feel when the Louisville job opened (in 2018)?”
Rick Bozich, a sports reporter for WDRB-TV and longtime media member in the market, was ready. He recorded the response.
“OK, those are all good questions on the Louisville job,” Brohm told the audience of about 100 people, including his father, Oscar, who was a star quarterback at Flaget. “You know what ... after being at Purdue two years when it came open, that was a tough call. Tough call.
“To be quite honest, through my schooling and how I was raised, I believe in at least trying to do the right thing and having morals and values. It just was too early to leave. It just wasn’t right.
“You build relationships. People treat you right. The people there have treated me great. You talk to recruits and they asked me things. Just a lot of things went into it.
“But, obviously, now we’re on year six. I love this town, this area. I’m an alumnus of Louisville. So anything can happen in the future.”
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The future will eventually take Brohm back to Louisville for more than just speaking engagements. And don't blame him for wanting to go back home, even though he has a good gig in West Lafayette.
Is that next year? Two years? Three years? The Cardinals have a coach – Scott Satterfield, who was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2019 – but he’s lost more than he’s won over the last two-plus seasons, adding more fuel to Brohm going home.
Does Brohm like the talk? Would he like for it to go away? Will it ever go away?
“I went to town for two days for two speaking engagements,” Brohm told the Journal & Courier. “Talked for a long time at both luncheons with a lot of Louisvillians and probably it was around four hours.
"But 3 hours and 59 minutes and 40 seconds were about Purdue and how great of a spot it is and the tremendous leadership from our president, AD, Board of Trustees and all those things. People treat us great and then you get a question from somebody that’s a Louisville fan and he tries to be respectful and nice. And that’s what I was trying to do.”
Brohm didn’t specifically answer the question but he did. None of this is surprising.
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And it’s not to Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski, who extended Brohm’s contract through the 2027 season in April. Not even the extension with a combined $1.5 million in longevity bonuses mixed into his $5-plus million salary will derail the conversation.
Not that it matters but Brohm’s buyout is only $1 million. Most athletic departments have that sitting around in petty cash if that's still a thing in 2022.
“It’s no secret that Jeff is from Louisville, Jeff’s family is from Louisville, and Jeff has a tremendous affinity for the city of Louisville but that does not affect him in anyway shape or form the commitment he has to our program and the work he’s doing there,” Bobinski told the Journal & Courier.
“I can’t control anything that Louisville does; I can only control what we do, and we continue to show our appreciation for what Jeff is doing and provide him and the program the support that he needs to be successful. That’s what is most important to him.”
Purdue stepped up financially when Louisville came calling in 2018. And yes, the timing wasn’t right for Brohm to leave four years ago. The Boilermakers were coming off back-to-back bowl games and recruiting was picking up. Rondale Moore was headed to West Lafayette. George Karlaftis and David Bell were on their way.
The move to stay has paid off for Brohm and Purdue, even though his record remains one game under .500 during his five years in West Lafayette. All the talk hasn't been a distraction.
Brohm could end it and say he's never going to Louisville but that's not happening. It's not good business for the family. Why do you think he does speaking engagements around the city during the offseason? Recruiting will be the reason, but we all know better.
And you know what - it's OK. You should be fine with it. During Brohm's tenure, the program is in better shape after picking up the pieces left by the Darrell Hazell regime. Once Brohm leaves, Purdue won't have trouble attracting another quality coach.
Enjoy the ride. Get pumped up for the season opener against Penn State under the lights on a national stage. Watch the quarterback development continue, guess which receiver will torch Iowa and bask in the glory of all the trick plays.
It will end one day. Louisville will call and the timing will be right.
Mike Carmin covers Purdue sports for the Journal & Courier. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter and Instagram @carmin_jc
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Purdue football: 'Jeff Brohm to Louisville' talk will continue