Jeff Brohm made Purdue fans worry for a few hours in late November.
During Tennessee’s chaotic coaching search six months ago, the Vols appeared to be zeroing in on Brohm, who had just led the Boilermakers to bowl eligibility during his first season at Purdue. There were reports of Brohm having conversations with the SEC school and even one that the two sides were closing in on a deal. It was peak coaching search season.
But it ended with Brohm staying at Purdue and Tennessee eventually hiring Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
This week, Brohm reflected on the process he went through with Tennessee. In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, Brohm implied that he had some interest in the Tennessee job, saying “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
“There’s always going to be people going behind closed doors, expressing interest in this job and that job,” Brohm told the Courier-Journal. “Those things, yeah, those things did come about. But I think I was always honest with everybody and kept it real.
“In the end, I think this is the place I enjoy being because I think it does have a great challenge to it and I am committed to doing my part to try to help us get over the hump and become a winning program.”
Brohm did not deny that he had conversations with Tennessee during the school’s coaching search, but he did not get specific about how close he got to taking the job.
“I don’t want to get into details on it. Like I said, where there’s smoke there’s fire,” he said. “But I think that I was completely straightforward with the people I needed to be. Like I said, when it’s all said and done, this is, in my opinion, the best spot for me.”
Staying at Purdue, Brohm led the Boilermakers to a win over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl last December. He signed a contract extension at Purdue last month that is set to keep Brohm on the Boilermakers sideline through the 2024 season.
But there’s a good chance he’ll be a hot commodity on the coaching market again next offseason.