Purdue is 2-1 headed into Saturday’s home game against No. 8 Michigan and looks much improved after a 3-9 record in 2016. You can point to new coach Jeff Brohm for much of that improvement, so let’s get to know him.
Here are five things you can tell your friends about Purdue’s first-year coach:
He comes from the Bobby Petrino coaching tree
Brohm was Louisville’s quarterbacks coach during Bobby Petrino’s first tenure with the team, and the two reunited when Petrino hired Brohm as his offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky in 2013. Brohm succeeded him as coach at Western Kentucky and got his first Power 5 job at Purdue this offseason.
Jeff Brohm was an XFL quarterback before he got into coaching
He even garnered some fame when he deadpanned “Let’s play football” to a reporter who asked how he felt after suffering a hit to his head in the team’s previous game. Speaking to SB Nation, Brohm said he uses the quote to tell his players to express themselves.
“You know what? There were no curse words,” Brohm told SB Nation. “There was nothing derogatory. It was a little over the top, and it was a little staged, so to speak. But you know what? It was in the fun-loving atmosphere of the game, and it was trying to get the fans and the team going a little bit. Of all things, since where I’ve been, I’m all for swagger and personality. As long as our guys are respecting the game and not getting any penalties, they can do what they need to do.”
Jeff Brohm led an incredibly successful Western Kentucky program
The program that already had Petrino and current Oregon coach Willie Taggart nailed its next hire, and it didn’t have to go far. The Hilltoppers were 30-10 during Brohm’s run there. They won the Bahamas Bowl in his first season, the Miami Beach Bowl in his second and the Boca Raton Bowl in his third. Brohm’s team finished ranked No. 24 at the end of 2015. While with the Hilltoppers, Brohm led dynamic offensive attacks that dominated Conference USA.
Jeff Brohm was a multi-sport athlete before he decided to focus on football
The Montreal Expos selected Brohm in the seventh round of the 1987 MLB draft, but he decided to play football at Louisville. Brohm ended up playing two seasons of minor league baseball during the summer while in college but eventually decided to stick with football. Can’t argue with the results on that choice.
He can coach a heck of an offense
Brohm’s offenses at Western Kentucky were ridiculous. The Hilltoppers were a top-5 team in passing S&P+, Bill Connelly’s advanced statistic that measures offense, in 2016 and 2015, and were ninth in 2014. He’s creative, evidenced by this double-reverse touchdown pass Purdue whipped out in Week 2 against Ohio:
That was fun, huh?
— Purdue On BTN (@PurdueOnBTN) September 9, 2017
Purdue scored 28 points in a Week 1 loss to Louisville before topping Ohio 44-21 in Week 2. The Boilermakers then routed Missouri, 35-3, in Week 3.
Now Brohm and the Boilermakers go for their biggest win together yet when No. 8 Michigan comes to West Lafayette, Ind.