Current players backing Brohm

WKU Offensive Coordinator Jeff Brohm holds tight end Devin Scott during a drill at WKU football team’s first spring practice on March 22, 2013. Brandon Carter/Herald

Elliott Pratt

Bobby Petrino was still the head coach, but players were lobbying for Jeff Brohm early this week. The reports had just started to leak that Petrino was interviewing for the Louisville head coaching job, a position he previously held from 2003-06.

The players, and a majority of the fans, had the suspicion that Petrino was leaving, so they automatically jumped on the wagon to ride towards “the Brohm era”.



Players are glad that a coaching change this time doesn’t mean a change in the scheme. With Brohm serving as the offensive coordinator under Petrino’s offense that set a school record for yards of offense in a season with 5,502, there won’t be many changes to the style of play on the field. For that, players are relieved.

That’s perfect. In the past we’ve had different coaches and we had to adjust to different schemes,” junior defensive back Cam Thomas said. “Now we’ve been in the system for a year. How they prepare us in the spring is basically going to be the same. It’s good for the younger guys because the older guys will have a lot of experience and will be able to help.”

Players on the offense like junior wide receiver Willie McNeal will see hardly any changes to a system they’re now familiar with. McNeal said working with Brohm while he was an assistant means there is a stronger connection between players. 

One thing will change, and another will not. McNeal said the attitude will be a bit “looser”, but the expectations remain the same. 

 “You have a relationship with assistants and everyone has been around Coach Brohm a lot so I think it will be a lot more relaxed,” McNeal said. “He’s an exciting coach. He’s a guy that builds a lot of confidence. There were times at practice I would drop a pass that was way too low and I would say ‘it was too low’ and he would say ‘you can make that catch’. That’s what he expects so that’s what you expect out of yourself.”  

The player-to-coach relationship in the instance of Brohm and the Toppers has always been a relaxing one, but the coach still demands their best. Brohm said he relates because of his time as a quarterback in college at Louisville, his tour with five teams in the NFL, and more famously among WKU players, his one year with the former XFL’s Orlando Rage.

Brohm may be known as a coach and quarterback, but his internet fame stems from comments he made while in the XFL. It’s these comments that seem to follow Brohm around everywhere he goes. 

Yeah I joke with him at our Thursday practices,” Thomas said. “We always joke and laugh about that. He’s a fun coach and that’s why I feel were going to be more loose. He says he wants to bring a family type deal here.”

“Where ever I’ve been, it doesn’t take long for that to surface,” Brohm said. “I heard it surfaced again. We got a chance to show some personality and be a character a little bit. Normally (the players) tell me they watch it a lot.”

The family attitude and his relation to the players is the driving point for what Brohm wants to build at WKU. A number of coaches and personnel have left the program to join Petrino in Louisville, but some have stayed because they want to help Brohm build upon the foundation WKU has already established.

“I can relate to these guys,” Brohm said. “I’ve been where they are now and experienced what they have experienced, the highs and the lows. I think guys need someone who has been there to be there to pat them on the back when they need it and be able to push them when they need it as well.

“You have to be able to do both. I feel like that is an advantage I have and something I have with all of my players.”


// //