LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A new era of Louisville football is here.
On Thursday, the University of Louisville Athletic Association approved for former Cardinal and Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm to be the program's next head coach.
"This decision says we're committed to competing at the highest level, and our university leadership will invest to insure our students are surrounded by the very best," UofL athletic director Josh Heird said in the Angel's Envy Bourbon Club at Cardinal Stadium for Brohm's announcement press conference.
"As I've had conversations with board members, it's clear there's a commitment to making sure this university thrives academically and athletically," Heird continued. "These are not mutually exclusive, we plan to be great in both, and together this is the best way to elevate this entire university."
Brohm has a 66-44 overall record as a head coach, going 36-34 at Purdue and 30-10 at Western Kentucky. Born and raised in Louisville, Brohm was a star quarterback for the Cardinals from 1989 to 1993 under Howard Schnellenberger, as well as an assistant coach from 2003 to 2008 under both Bobby Petrino and Steve Kragthorpe.
"It's without question a humbling experience to be up here. ... I take this job very seriously and I look forward to years to come," Brohm said.
Below is Jeff Brohm's full introductory press conference, as well as the transcript from UofL interim president Dr. Lori Gonzalez, Heird and Brohm:
Interim President Dr. Lori Gonzalez
"Good afternoon Card Nation, thank you for your patience. We get to celebrate another historic moment in the history of the University of Louisville. Before I begin my remarks I want to share greetings from our governor, Andy Beshear. He sends his best wishes and states, ‘Today is a great day for the University of Louisville as Jeff Brohm is coming home to the Commonwealth. Britainy and I want to personally welcome him and his family and we know not only he will be a great coach but also a great member of our Louisville and Kentucky community.’ So that is from the governor. I want to thank all the fans for being here, all the people that believe in the University of Louisville Athletics. I want to thank the members of our media here today for your continuing interest into Cardinal Athletics. We are grateful to see donors and supporters and around the room you are the foundation for the success of our student athletes. We are so proud of these athletes. They proudly wear the red and black and exemplify what true student athletes represent. As you know, athletics is a critical component for our campus life and it also helps us live our mission to make a difference. The cardinal legacy continues to shape our ability to create new generations of University of Louisville graduates and fans. Athletics matter at the University of Louisville and football matters here too. Just five days ago, Josh Heird called to tell me that our former football coach was interviewing at another institution and Josh and I discussed his plan for what comes next. Very quickly he put things into motion and to no one’s surprise, he executed this plan to perfection. We agreed on the approach and now we have the ideal candidate. We stand before you today introducing our new head coach, another native son and Cardinal. I am going to leave it to Josh to share with you the accolades and career achievements of our coach but let me just say this, he is not just the coach because he is one of us, that he comes from here. He is the coach because he is exactly who we need at this moment in Louisville. He shares our values and vision of Louisville Football. He is a proven winner, a developer of talent and character. He is a true Cardinal and the fact that he didn’t need directions to get here, that was a big plus. I want to close by thanking Josh and his team for their stellar work, for the Board of Trustees, for the Louisville Athletic Association for their continued support as well as President-Elect Schatzel, who just by serendipity happened to be here this week when this big thing happened so we are so glad. Now to formally introduce our new head football coach please welcome our amazing Director of Athletics, Josh Heird.”
Director of Athletics Josh Heird
“Let me just start by saying decisions like this start at the very top so Dr. (Lori Stewart) Gonzalez, Dr. (Kim) Schatzel, thank you. Only at the University of Louisville can the Athletic Director send text messages that say ‘I’ve talked to both of my presidents’. Board of Trustees members and Athletic Association members, thank you. This decision says we’re committed to competing at the highest level and our university leadership will invest to ensure our students will be surrounded by the very best. As I’ve had conversations with board members, it’s clear there’s a commitment to making sure this university thrives academically and athletically. These are not mutually exclusive. We plan to be great in both and together, this is the best way to elevate this entire university. A few more brief thank yous before I say a few things about Jeff and his family. My staff - Marvin, Amy, Jeff, Lottie, Michael, Zach, Rocco, Kelly, Alan, Marissa, Ronnie, Justin. I could go on and on here. Once again, this team effort to pull this off in such a timely manner is incredible. I truly believe I have one of the best staffs, if not the best staff in college athletics. If one person didn’t step up, this didn’t get done like it did, so thank you to the entire staff.
Our previous football staff – Scott Satterfield. He assembled a staff that left this program better than when they arrived, so thank you for all that they did. Our current football staff – a couple of them up here. Deion (Branch), he’s at practice. Josh Thompson, Robin, Denise, Vicky, our strength staff, our trainers, equipment staff, our recruiting staff, and everyone else who came to work Monday morning knowing that their focus was on our student-athletes. Through this process, Shawn Freibert, Glenn Sugiyama and countless others that worked tirelessly to provide insight and guidance in order to get this across the finish line. Lastly, our current and soon-to-be football players – I asked them to be patient with this decision and they have been.
With that, let’s turn our attention to our newest head football coach. I’ve been in the AD role now for 366 days. Jeff, you’ve made my life harder for 365 of those. All kidding aside, this is an exciting day for the University of Louisville and our city. Today we welcome home coach Jeff Brohm to lead our football program. The Brohm’s, yes all of them, are synonymous with Louisville and we’re fortunate to be joined by several members of his family here today. Jennifer, Brady, Brooke – I don’t have to tell you this, but the University of Louisville is your home too and we’re thrilled to welcome you back to Louisville. And Brooke, you made this happen with that birthday wish, so I owe you one.
Beyond his ties to Louisville, what excites me most about Jeff is that he’s had success at the highest level of college football. We’re less than a week removed from him leading his team in the Big Ten Championship game and his teams have answered the call numerous times on the biggest stage against top opponents. This decision had nothing to do with bringing back a hometown hero. Simply put, Jeff gives this program the best chance to succeed. Jeff is a proven winner. Bowl victories, conference championships, and top 25 rankings have all been a part of Jeff’s success at Purdue and Western Kentucky. Along the way, he’s done it with an exciting brand of football that remains innovative and entertaining, and he’s done it by making the right decisions with the best interests of his student-athletes at the forefront. I said earlier this week that we would work quickly and tirelessly to identify a tremendous leader for our program who understood the history of Louisville football and who would be committed long term to this school and this community. There’s not another coach in America who fulfills those requirements like Jeff Brohm. It’s my pleasure to officially introduce to you the next head football coach at the University of Louisville – Jeff Brohm.
Louisville Head Coach Jeff Brohm
“Thank you very much. It’s, without question, a humbling experience to be up here in front of you guys. It’s a tremendous turnout and it always means a lot when you see a lot of familiar faces which I do here today, so it’s really gratifying and really humbling to be up here in front of you. I take this job very seriously, and I look forward to years to come, but it is great to be back here, so thank you for coming. I also want to thank a few people here with me: my wife Jennifer, my daughter Brooke, and my son Brady. They’re excited to be here. My immediate family – my mother and father, Oscar and Donna, and my brother, Greg. My sister, Kim, is here and my father-in-law, Phil. And there are a few other people: my high school coach who is probably my best mentor that I’ve had in my entire career, he’s in our front row right here, Dennis Lampley and his family. I got the opportunity to play in the NFL for seven-plus years and be around a lot of great coaches and players, and in my opinion, Dennis Lampley is the best and I learned a great deal from him. I want to thank my good friend Sean and his wife too. They’ve also been great friends to me, and I appreciate all their help. I do want to thank the University of Louisville. This is a great opportunity for myself, and you don’t know how much I am looking forward to getting to work. I want to thank Josh (Heird) for all his work. I can tell he’s a great person which means a lot to me, and he does a tremendous job. I want to thank the presidents, both of them. I know I’ll get a chance to know them, and I look forward to working as hard as I can for each one of you. And I just want to thank the Louisville administration. There’s a lot of familiar faces I’ve seen just today. It’s great to see them again and to see people that really take pride in loving to work here and helping this university achieve goals and have a lot of fun while doing it, so it was great to see those people. Before I begin, I do want to thank my former employee, Purdue University, our athletic director Mike Bobinski, president Mitch Daniels, our board of trustees, Mike Berghoff (chairman of Purdue board of trustees), our fans that were there, and our players for a wonderful six years. I’m very proud of what we all accomplished together. Purdue will always be my home away from home, but this is home.
This is not a job to me; this has been a way of life for my family since I was born. While in my career, I have coached at many different places, some near and some far, but I never really left Louisville. My heart was always here. I’m overwhelmed by the welcome back that Louisville fans have given me, and we consider this more than just friends and family and just fans but just great people that have given back to all of us. From my days watching games at the fairgrounds to playing for my mentor, Howard Schnellenberger, to serving as an assistant coach, I believe I understand the decades-long mission that this community has had and been built upon: to maintain a championship program. I know where this program began, the passion that has driven it, what it has overcome and accomplished, and where it wants to go. This is the fans’ team with something to prove. While the homecoming is special, I know that football is what is most important to you and to all of us, and that will be my top priority for myself, our staff, and our players. We want to be a team of substance with a system and a plan. We will go for the win, and we will not wait for things to happen. Our style will be aggressive and occasionally risk-taking because that is how I learned the game here. We will coach our players to play tougher, harder, and smarter than our opponents while developing them to be the very best they can be, maximizing their potential on the field, in the classroom, in the community, and as young men of character. We want you to be a part of that journey as well, because you believed in this program way back when very few others did. And I truly believe that together, we can take this program to that next level.
I cannot really express what this opportunity means to me and my family. But I feel your support and it will drive us to coach and lead this program for you and get us to fulfill its promise. I truly am thankful for this opportunity. I think people that know me know that I like to win, I like to compete. It means something to me. I’m going to bend over backwards to find a way to get it done. I’m going to rally the people around me to do the same thing. In my opinion, in order to win at a high level, everyone has to do their part. The head coach has to put in the work. He’s got to really put in the work. He’s got to take the blame when things aren’t going well. Our assistant coaches have to put in the work. They’ve got to know how important it is to these young men to be put in the best position to succeed and do great things. And then our players have to put in the work. But I think all three elements have to happen and you can’t just have one and you can’t just have two, you have to have all three. As my family knows, I enjoy being with my family, I enjoy being with a lot of people, but I don’t have a lot of other hobbies. I like football. And I also like to win.
As I’ve been gone for a while, of course, I watch – I’m a big sports fan, I enjoy watching all sports. My daughter is a volleyball player, and my son Brady loves all sports. I’ve watched this community and this sports team, and I think we’ve got a great set-up here with tremendous facilities. We’ve got a lot of fans that are eager to see a team that wants to work hard, that wants to put in the work, that wants to compete, and that wants to try and play at a high level. We’ve got great backing from the administration and from all the people that want to see this program succeed, and that’s what makes it worthwhile. Once again, there’s so many familiar faces here that do make it that much more special. My wife has been teasing me ever since I got here, which was just today, that she’s not going to see me very much. But I promise you, she’ll see me, but I am going to get to work, and I am going to make sure that we do our part. I want our players to want to work hard and succeed and achieve their goals, but I want them to have fun as well. I do think you can work hard and have fun at the same time, and if you’re doing that, good things are going to happen. I guess I’ll finish with one thing I normally like to say and that is, let’s play football.”
(In 2018, you said it took a long time to come to a decision. You said it was an emotional decision. Why is this the right time when before it wasn’t? Can you speak to how fast this did happen this week, waking up Monday and not knowing if anything was going to happen?)
“I’m very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been given along the way. I had a great experience down at Western Kentucky being the head coach. I really enjoyed my time there. I was able to move on to Purdue where I met a lot of great people, hard-working, blue-collar people. People who gave me an opportunity to be a head coach in the Big Ten and try and resurrect a program. I was fortunate enough to play for coach Howard Schnellenberger, and coached with him, so I knew what his specialty was. That’s why I took on that challenge. Even when I took on the Purdue job, 90 percent of my colleagues told me not to take the job. That’s what intrigued me even more. As I took that on, I said I was going to help this program get over the hump and achieve its goals. We were able to find a way to go to a bowl that first year and win it. Of course, that’s when the Louisville job surfaced. As a lot of people know, you develop relationships with the team, people you work for, and recruits. Those things matter and after one year when the opportunity came about, I’m sure my family wanted me to come home, and rightfully so, but the timing wasn’t right. It wasn’t easy telling my family that, but it wasn’t right, I didn’t feel good about it. I wanted to make sure I continued the journey and kept my word to these young men and the people that had hired me. I continued to do that. I feel like along the way other opportunities have come about and I’ve tried to do the right thing by other people. Then of course, six years later, I feel like we’ve made progress at Purdue. We had a good season last year and had a good one this year. We found a way to get to the Big Ten Championship game and you don’t know how much that meant to our players and fans. We all did it together and it was a rewarding experience. I’m not going to lie, I was extremely happy with where I was at. Basically, how it came about here was we had just finished playing in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday. Right away, had to get up and recruit all day Sunday. I was able to get back Sunday night, getting ready to go back out Monday. I was taking my son to school, dropped him off at school, and then drove off to get ready to go out of town. My son texted me and asked if I had seen Twitter. I’m not very good with my phone so I said no. He goes, ‘You might need to look at Twitter.’ So I did and that’s how I found out. Of course, unbeknownst to you guys, I had a press conference scheduled at 10:00 for our Citrus Bowl game. So right away I was like, ‘Here we go.’ That’s how it came about. Yes, it came up fast, but I’ve always been straightforward with our athletic director at Purdue, and we talked right away. I told him I was going to listen, and he understood. He knew that this might be the time. Of course he didn’t want that, he tried to talk me out of it very nicely. He was respectful of the situation, but things happen fast, and I knew this was the time. It’s a great opportunity, I’ve always wanted to work here. I loved playing here and I love living here. I felt like we accomplished a lot of our goals at Purdue. I can look myself in the mirror and know that I gave it everything I had. We made progress. We achieved great things together, but now it’s time to take on a new challenge.”
(You mention your family, now that you are the head coach here, and you just said the time feels right, can you put into words what that moment will be like, you the head coach and you’ll have your family there on the sideline just supporting you, and you’ll have that full circle moment?)
“It’s always special, you know, we have a big family. There’s a lot of people that want to be a part of it and want to experience all the fun that we have doing this. You always want to please everybody, you definitely want to please your family. Like I said before, you guys are family as well, the Cardinal fans are family, so we do want to try to please those people, and we want everybody to be a part of it. I think that’s what we’ve always experienced here, living here, is everywhere we go, we feel like whether we’re related or not, everyone’s family, and we want to treat people that way. That’s kind of what I believe in, I see the good in all people, and I think that together we can have fun and go try to achieve some goals and win some football games and try to win a championship.”
(Jeff, this is sort of the continuation of Howard Schnellenberger’s vision and dream for the program. What did he mean to you, and if he were here today, what do you think he would say?)
“Well, I was lucky to play for such a terrific coach. Coach Lampley right here in high school, then I got the opportunity to play for Coach Schnellenberger in college, and those two guys molded me into what I became today, not only as a player, but as a person. There are a lot of great qualities about Coach Schnellenberger. Once again, he loved the game of football, he loved to compete, he loved to win. He wasn’t scared to tell people what was getting ready to happen. I’m a little more hesitant to just outwardly tell it, I’ll do it behind closed doors, but he was not. But you know what, he had the ability to get his players to believe that they could achieve anything, because he was not scared to tell people what was getting ready to happen, and he was willing to work for it. So I had the opportunity to play for him, I had the opportunity to coach with him, and he was a little bit more mellow then. Him and Beverley were great people, they’ve treated me great. They’ve continued to stay in contact with me all through my coaching. Obviously, Beverley still does now, I know she was just in town yesterday, we weren’t able to get her here today, but they were just great people who took a lot of pride in this job. When I talked to Coach (Schnellenberger) after year one about this job, he said come home and take it. That’s how much he loves this place, and how much Beverley loves this place, so I just think they’re genuine people, and I appreciate everything I’ve learned from them. We want to try and carry on that tradition. He was the one that made this go in the first place and was willing to step up to the plate and come back to Louisville and try to resurrect a program, so we’re thankful for him and his wife and his entire family.”
(The last time it came around, and you had to say no, you mentioned it wasn’t the right time. Did you worry that it wouldn’t come back around?)
“Well, that always can happen. It’s kind of like, a lot of decisions you make, if it’s tough, if it’s 51% one way and 49% the other, you choose the other one, you’re scared that maybe ‘Did I make the right decision?’ I really felt, I mean it was something I wrestled with, but I really felt that I just couldn’t look in the mirror and say that I was doing the right thing by all. But yeah, I knew it couldn’t come about. My family loves Louisville, just like Josh (Heird) said, my daughter loves Louisville. This past year, not this season but before, my wife and daughter moved back to our house in Louisville because her mother was sick, she ended up passing, but really took care of her at our house for six months. My daughter went to school here in town, while I was coaching football, and then they rejoined us in the spring, and she liked it here. She liked it here a lot, and I was told that, and whenever I was with my wife I said, ‘You need to calm that talk down with your daughter.’ You know, we have to make the most of where we’re at, have fun doing it, it’s a great place, we can’t worry about all that. She sure was right, it came about again, so I’m lucky and I’m fortunate, and without question I’m going to try and make the most of it.”
(How did you grow as a coach during your tenure at Purdue, maybe compared to Western Kentucky, that’s going to help in this job? Also, what’s the first thing that you’re going to tell the current Louisville football players when you talk to them?)
“Well, that’s a good question. I’ve been a head coach now for nine seasons and I have learned a great deal. At Western Kentucky, playing at that level, you’re able to throw the ball around, put up big numbers, and have some fun doing it. When you get to the Big 10, it’s a defensive, physical league. While we were able to do that, I learned quickly that you better have some really good defense and you better be able to run the ball occasionally if you need to. So, over the years, to be honest with you, I think I’ve grown as a head coach because we have found a way to be better on defense, we have found a way to score multiple ways, and I do understand the importance of making sure you check the boxes. Also, along the way I’ve learned that when you hire people and you hire staff you have to hire great people first. That’s one thing I’ll never make the mistake again. You have to hire great people first that want to do things the right way, for the right reasons, and help these young men achieve their goals. And then if they know football that’s great, but we can work together and stick together to get this done if you’re willing to suck it up when things aren’t going well. Get up when you get punched in the gut and not wallow in misery for a day or two. I just think the team reacts to how the coaches respond, and if you’re willing to fight through things and find out different ways to win, your players will respond and know that you’re trying to coach as hard as you can in order to get things done. I do think we have been able to pull off some big upsets that we shouldn’t have, and I think it’s from the ability to get your players to believe that they’re better than they are and the ability to take risks and be aggressive. Yeah, sometimes you’re going to swing and miss but you have to be aggressive in your approach. When it comes to our football team, every team has great players and great people. It’s up to the coach to get the most out of them. I’m definitely going to let them know that I’m here for them. We’re going to work hard, we’re going to have fun, we’re going to try to achieve our goals of being the very best we can be and I’m going to try to help them do that. Other than that, I want them to finish off the season strong, enjoy their bowl game, and come back with a win.
(You mentioned getting straight to work. Early signing day is right around the corner and the program already has a number of highly rated kids already committed. What’s your plan of action to talk with them and get the program to a point where you’re happy on national signing day?)
“Well, that process has already started. It’s going to be an exhausting process here for the remainder of the time until signing day because I do have to make sure to get in communication with all of our recruits. One’s committed and one’s not – that process, believe me, has started. I’ve talked to numerous people. Every young kid is going to have questions about change and you just have to make sure that you explain to them what you’re about, what you think you can get done for them, how you can help them achieve their goals, and how great of a place this can be. I do think I have experience in knowing that. You’re going to miss on some and you’re going to hit on some. But we want to try to piece this thing together as well as we can, get our coaches and myself to actively be aggressive as we can, and make sure that we’re turning over every stone. I do know it’s just a matter of hard work. It’s a matter of building those relationships as fast as we can and making sure that we don’t miss a beat.”
(On what the city of Louisville and the program means to you)
“Well luckily, I have been fortunate able to achieve a few things along the way and it really is a product of the environment that I was in and the people I was around. When that happens, you are thankful for the things that got you there and this is where I live my life, these are the people I have been around. Yes, I have been able to play on some NFL teams and coach in some spots but really this is where my roots are. When you have the roots of a lot of family members and even extended family of people you have met along the way, you rely on them, you please them and you want to do right by them. I just think wherever you are at, you remember those special people and if you ever get the opportunity to come back and get with them again and try to do something special in the game of football, that is going to make it even more fun. It just means a great deal and that is why you know as a head coach, somebody who understands that I am going to do my part.”
(On what he knows about the ACC)
“Well that is a good question, I am not an expert on the ACC quite honestly right to this point. I have watched a few games just as a fan and through watching film study of teams we play. I think across college football that they are a lot of good football teams, the margin for winning and losing is very small. Every year is different, you have a new team and you have to figure things out, you have to prepare and get ready to go. I just think putting the best product on the field that can play an explosive brand of football on offense, make as many plays as we can and get the ball to our playmakers. On defense be aggressive as we can. Eliminate big plays but try to get after the quarterback and apply pressure to him and be solid on special teams. If you try to piece it together and work hard, you can find a way to win. Every year things are different, without question a few teams stepped up this year in the ACC but next year there needs to be some more teams to step up and prove how good they can be. I am not ready fully to dissect exactly where we are at with all that but we look forward to all the new opponents that I will be playing and we will study it very hard.”
(Tell us about what discussions were with your parents this time after you found out this might be a possibility)
“Well, I probably didn’t answer their call the last couple days. I knew what their response was going to be. My response, and our response, was the same. They care a great deal about this community and the people, and I understand that and rightfully so. In the end, they understood my decision, but they’ve always been Cardinals fans. They come to a lot of games of a lot of sports and now they get a chance to have their son come back and try to do what he loves and help this football team win. As I’ve stated before, we care a great deal about this community and this program. It’ll be a full family affair. There’s a lot of family members that have coached with me as you guys know. I’ve got my brother Greg, who was our Chief of Staff and Director of Ops at Purdue with me. My brother Brian, who was our offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Obviously, my father. I have a lot of extended uncles and people around me. I get opinions all the time and it’s almost always on the things I’m doing wrong. So, I can take constructive criticism very well. I listen to it all the time. My son and wife are pretty good at giving it to me as well, and my daughter now, she’s been more outspoken. So, I’m able to handle that. It’s toughened my skin. It’s thickened me up a little bit and I know that in the end, it’s about winning. I have to figure it out and we all have to figure it out, but that’s what drives you. I appreciate that. It’s great to have people that actually give you their real opinion. There’s some coaches you can be with that just tell you what you want to hear. That’s not really valuable. You want people to tell you the reality of things and that’s where it’s really humbling, and it makes you really think things through before you do them.”
(Offensively, where has your philosophy grown with all the programs you’ve been with?)
“I think the goal is winning football games, but I do think the goal is always in my opinion is scoring points, making the game exciting to watch, making it fun to play in, making it something your players want to be a part of, and that’s why we’ve done what we’ve done. At the same time, you have to take the talent on your team and try to mold that so you know what, there may be years maybe the quarterback’s a runner and you have a lot of good running backs. We’ve been around the opposite where we’ve had guys that can throw the football and I’m not complaining because I think it’s a lot of fun to throw the football and score points. I study film. That’s kind of what my hobby is, whether it’s pro teams or college teams, we try to adjust things every year. We try to have a little fun with it and carry a few trick plays here and there and make sure that our players are enjoying that, but it’s nothing more than trying to be ahead of the curve, improve every year, and find ways to score points and win.”
(You mentioned your son was the one that told you Monday morning about the job opening. What was that timeline like of talking to Louisville and then now taking the job?)
“Those things always happen quick, and you’re never for sure what is exactly going to happen. I have a job to do, I worked for Purdue, and I’m out recruiting, it’s the contact period, we’re going to see players. Eventually, contact is made and eventually, you talk about the end result, is this going to be able to work. I had a great situation where I was at. When I went in and talked to our athletic director, he basically said you name the price and the years, and I said it’s not about that, and he knew that. I said this is just what I need to listen to and look at, so I’m thankful for whatever I have, I appreciate the trust that this administration has put in me, and I’m going to try and make the most of it. Things happen fast, you adjust along the way, you try to be as open and honest as you can, and transparent, but you don’t really know things fully until the very end, and then when that happens, you try to do the right thing.”
(You mentioned recruiting obviously - in recent years it feels like people have wanted UofL to refocus some of its recruiting effort on the city and the state of Kentucky. How important is it to you to reestablish and reconnect with the schools here and throughout the state to make sure recruits see Louisville as a primary destination?)
“Without question that’s always important to me. I think there has been a lot of great football teams here at the University of Louisville that were built around a lot of great in-state players and players from this city. I have a relationship with a lot of the coaches throughout the state, probably a lot of the coaches that are coming will as well. We’re going to make sure that we’re going to every school if we can and make sure that they get to know us and what we’re about, get to know their players and prospects, and if we feel that they can help the University of Louisville win we’re going to make sure that happens and we’re going to give them that opportunity. It doesn’t always work or they decide not to come here, but I think there are a lot of coaches around here that trust the things I tell them and believe in what we’re all about. We will always make sure that we provide those opportunities. With that now, there’s national recruiting and there are relationships built across the country. We’re going to make sure that we try to get the best talent in here that wants to be a part.”
Director of Athletics Josh Heird
(Was Jeff Brohm the only candidate in your search?)
“I wouldn’t call it a list of one. You guys have heard the stories, you always have that short list and you make sure you update that. Obviously, the way the season was going at the beginning of the year I had spent a lot of time working through what that list looked like. Now, I would tell you I don’t think there was anybody as qualified – when you’re looking for a head coach it has to work both ways. They want to come here, and you have to want them. So, I didn’t know Jeff (Brohm) was interested, I assumed that he would be based on the history. From there, you say who’s the most qualified, who are we able to get, who would be willing to look at this job. From that, you realize that Jeff (Brohm) rose to the top of that list pretty quickly.”
(Can you talk about the state of the current team and also, what have you and Jeff talked about as far as assistants go?)
“We have had very little of those conversations as far as what staff looks like. We just haven’t had time. I look forward to sitting down and having that conversation, obviously. As far as the current team goes, I think the focus is two things: to have fun and try to win a football game next Saturday on the 17th. I would tell you that Deion (Branch) is doing an unbelievable job, and that’s why I put him in this position. Like I said, a large majority of those people in that building have themselves or their families to worry about. They don’t know if they have jobs, they might be transitioning to other jobs. But I knew Deion was going to give his heart and soul for the next two weeks, because that’s what he’s done for the last 10 months to the guys in that locker room. We’re piecemealing it, we’re duct-taping it together, and I couldn’t tell you who’s going to call plays on the 17th. There’s a lot of things I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you that they’ll be ready to play on the 17th and we look forward to that bowl game.”
(Photo of Josh Heird, Jeff Brohm: Sam Upshaw Jr. - Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK
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