Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Purdue’s Jeff Brohm recounts ‘tough call’ of turning down Louisville but keeps door open for return

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Purdue coach Jeff Brohm made one of the most surprising decisions of the 2018-19 coaching silly season when he declined to return to his alma mater, Louisville. Not only was Brohm considered an up-and-coming coach — his stock rose emphatically following upsets over then-No. 2 Ohio State and then-No. 19 Iowa — but his family name was (and still is) practically synonymous with the city. After growing up in Louisville, he starred as a quarterback for the Cardinals from 1989-93 and returned as an assistant coach after his professional career ended.

In the end, though, Brohm remained the coach at Purdue. Speaking at a high school alumni association event in Louisville on Wednesday, Brohm went in-depth about his decision to stay at Purdue rather than returning “home.” 

“You know what … after being at Purdue two years when it came open, that was a tough call,” he said, per WDRB-TV in Louisville. “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.”

He went on to elaborate how important nurturing relationships at Purdue were in his decision-making process. “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,” he said.

Louisville went on to hire Scott Satterfield, who went 8-5 and was named ACC Coach of the Year in 2019. However, sub-.500 seasons over the last two years and his courtship with other programs haven’t exactly endeared Satterfield to the Cardinal faithful.

Could Brohm’s mindset change? He didn’t necessarily close the door on returning to Louisville if the job opened at some point down the road. “Obviously, now we’re on Year 6. I love this town, this area. I’m an alumnus of Louisville. So anything can happen in the future,” he said.

Brohm is 28-29 in five seasons as the head coach of the Boilermakers. They went 9-4 and won the Music City Bowl last year and have consistently threatened top-tier teams during his tenure. 

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