When Bobby Petrino accepted the offer to become head coach at Western Kentucky University, one of the first calls he made was to then UAB assistant Jeff Brohm. The new Hilltoppers boss was in need of a coaching staff and hoped to attract Brohm in an effort to duplicate the record-setting success they enjoyed while working together at the University of Louisville.
Their relationship first began in 1998 while Petrino was an assistant at the U of L and Brohm, then an NFL quarterback, was doing rehab work at the Howard Schnellenberger Complex. Their relationship grew tighter when Brohm served as quarterbacks coach at U of L during Petrino's first tenure with the Cardinals.
Part of Petrino's sales pitch to persuade Brohm to rejoin him in Bowling Green was to further prepare him for his first head coaching position. Back together, this time with Brohm as the offensive coordinator, the pair enjoyed immediate success. The Hilltoppers opened the season with a win at Kentucky and finished with an impressive 8-4 record.
Just 13 months later, as he was making his return to Louisville, Petrino publicly recommended Brohm for the vacant WKU position.
“He's extremely ready for it,” he said.
Included in his new contract at Louisville was a clause that Petrino would work to schedule a home-and-home series with the Hilltoppers, something that he reiterated during his introductory press conference 17 months ago.
“I think we'll probably use our best efforts,” Petrino said.
The day following Petrino's move to Louisville, Brohm was introduced as the next WKU head coach. In his first season, he guided the Hilltoppers to a third place finish in Conference USA and a thrilling win over Central Michigan in the Bahamas Bowl.
Brohm, along with WKU assistant Mike Cassity, was honored at the Governor's Cup Luncheon held at the Frankfort Country Club earlier in the week for contributions to football in the Bluegrass State.
Petrino's first remarks, following the customary thanking of sponsors, were directed at the WKU head coach.
“He did a great job at Western Kentucky this year and I wish him all the success,” he said.
The close relationship built between the two may be the catalyst to a renewal of the series. Speculation has risen in recent days that a deal could be in the works.
“I think that it is in the works,” Brohm told WKUInsider.com. “I'm looking forward to hopefully making that happen one day.
“Obviously we would love the opportunity to do that. I think Louisville has established itself as a dominant program and being that were both schools in the same state and we're trying to take the next step up, we would love to have the chance to compete with the them.”
Being honored at an event celebrating the annual football series between Louisville and Kentucky – in the month of June – Brohm understands the impact that such a series would have for his program.
“It would be great for our fan base, for our recruits, and for all the players that we take from in-state,” he said. “It would be exciting and something that we would look forward to.”
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