The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky on April 10, 2014 · Page A14
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky · Page A14

Louisville, Kentucky
Issue Date:
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Page A14
Start Free Trial

Time: 04-09-2014 21:20 User: kslagle PubDate: 04-10-2014 Zone: KY Edition:! Page Name: A 14 Color: Bftapfenta A14 THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014 THE COURIER-JOURNAL LOCALFROM PAGE ONE BROHjM: Former Cardinal happy to be top Hilltopper Continued from Page A1 assistant coaches' locker room even though his office has an executive bathroom with a shower. Easy to fall into old habits when you've been climbing the career ladder for a decade. Brohm has replaced Bobby Petrino, who left WKU after one season to return to the University of Louisville. The Trinity High School graduate and former Cardinals quarterback said he learned plenty from Petrino, with whom he worked at WKU and U of L (2003-06). But Brohm is clear about one thing: "You have to be your own person." "You have a chance to run the team and put your stamp on it," the affable 42-year-old said, adding that, while "I don't think you have to re-invent the wheel. ... I don't think you want to be somebody you're not." After a meeting to check on the academic progress of his players one recent day, Brohm headed to lunch with his staff. Steely Dan played in the background at Montana Grille while Brohm chatted and laughed with his assistants. He jokingly asked if running backs coach Greg Nord was going to order any fruit. Nord pointed out the slice of lemon in his iced tea. Nord has hit for the cycle when it comes to working for Kentucky programs. The longtime assistant was at UofL with Petrino was a rookie in 2003. Nord also worked for first-time head coach Joker Phillips at Kentucky (2011-12). Petrino owns an 83-30 college coaching record. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons and was fired. How will Brohm fare as a head coach? "He's the type of person who can be your best friend, you wouldn't mind being your brother, and he's a great father," Nord said. "That's where you start off with. You've got a guy who you can trust and is fun being around. ... As far as being a first-time coach, he's prepared for this his whole life. This is what his destination has been." Brohm as WKU's coach almost didn't happen. Right before Christmas, he was being wooed to be an offensive coordinator at a Big 12 program, according to Brohm and WKU athletic director Todd Stewart. Oscar Brohm, Jeff's father, said the school was Iowa State. At that time, Petrino was still in charge at WKU, and Charlie Strong was still at U of L. An Iowa State job would have meant more prestige and more money. (Iowa State eventually hired former Kansas coach Mark Mangino.) But Brohm said no. Twice. (The Big 12 team made a second run at him a week after he declined the original offer.) It wasn't easy. Asked how close he was to accepting the job, Brohm said: "I was fairly close. I've passed up things that bit me in the rear, and I've passed up things that didn't. This would have been a great opportunity without question. But if (Petrino) was to move on, my goal was to try to become the coach here at Western Kentucky." Stewart hoped that Petrino would stick around for at least one more season. But he was realistic. The athletic director wanted to keep Brohm in case Petrino left. And as soon as Petrino interviewed with UofL, Stewart interviewed Brohm. Stewart described the talks as detailed. Brohm brought a binder the size of a small-town phone book with his plans for WKU. "To me it was a manual on how to be a successful head coach," Stewart said. "He covered every area. He had a plan for recruiting, offensive and defensive philosophies, his role in the community, academics. It was good to me that he was global in his thinking and not just about offense." Things moved quickly. Strong went to Texas. Petrino went to Louisville. And Brohm got promoted, signing a four-year contract for $600,000 annually that could be extended through December 2019. Fortunate circumstances, but Brohm knows bad luck too. In 2007 and 2008 he turned down opportunities to be the Alabama offensive coordinator to stay at U of L and be the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator under Steve Kragthorpe. Brohm said he remained because he wanted to continue to coach younger brother Brian Brohm, the Cardinals' quarterback, and be at his hometown school. That decision backfired. After a second straight disappointing season by the Cardinals, Brohm was made a scapegoat. He was demoted by Kragthorpe and essentially was forced out after the 2008 season. "It was a hard time for him because that was his alma mater," said his wife, Jennifer Brohm. "He stayed there to make it better." These are happier days for the Brohms. They live in a Bowling Green condo but are looking for a new home. (They still maintain a house in Louisville.) Jeff Brohm and Jennifer Hawkins both grew up in Fern Creek but never met until a Biology 101 class at Western Kentucky University football coach Jeff Brohm will make his debut Aug. 29 at home against Bowling Green State University. THE TOP OF THE HILL H Watch as Western Kentucky football coach Jeff Brohm tries to motivate the Toppers at www.courier-journa I. comsports U of L. They were introduced through mutual friends and exchanged numbers. Brohm didn't call for two weeks. She wasn't discouraged. "I guess I was always serious about him," Jennifer Brohm said. "He did have a few girls waiting for him after class. We would all show up there together. T was like 'Hey, talk to me!' " The Brohms have been married for 11 years and have a 9-year-old son (Brady) and a 3-year-old daughter (Brooke). The living room of their home is filled with toys, and the television is tuned to cartoons or sports. When Brohm is watching football, it's not uncommon for him to jot down plays and forget where he put his scrib-blings. Jennifer Brohm collects the misplaced scraps to hold them for safekeeping. If he can't find the play, he knows his wife's purse is the lost-and-found. With him as an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach, Brohm's teams have averaged 446 total yards and 33.8 points per game. Brohm said the offensive system and terminology for WKU will be the one he ran with Petrino. The Hilltop-pers set 18 single-season offensive records, including total offense, en route to an 8-4 record the team's best since becoming a bowl-eligible FBS member in 2009. While Brohm is known for working with Petrino, he also was the offensive coordinator for Howard Schnellenberger at Florida Atlantic. He also spent seven years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. There are aspects of the no-huddle, up-tempo offenses run by the Denver Broncos and the Philadelphia Eagles that intrigue him. Brohm is also flexible. "Coach Brohm is the perfect players' coach," said WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty, one of nine returning offensive starters. "He understands that things aren't perfectly scripted like you script them all week in practice. Having a coach that understands that things happen in games is awesome." But is Brohm too nice to be a head coach? Ask Brian Brohm. In 2006, UofL was gunning for a perfect season and a spot in the BCS national championship game but was upset at Rutgers 28-25. During the game, then-quarterback coach Jeff Brohm infamously yelled at his brother as the Cardinals' potent offense struggled. "He chewed me out on national TV," Brian Brohm said. "It wasn't as bad as it looked, but he's definitely a fiery, competitive guy. He's not scared to get into his players' faces a little bit." Once a star quarterback at U of L, Jeff Brohm was tough enough to lead the Cardinals to an 18-7 Liberty Bowl victory over Michigan State in 1993 with two steel pins and a steel plate in the index finger of his hand. "Everyone says he's a nice guy, and he is a nice guy," Oscar Brohm said. "But when he's on the field, he's a football coach." Mr. Nice Guy will make his debut Aug. 29 at home against Bowling Green State University. Contact Michael Grant at (502) 582-4069, and on Twitter MichaelGrant CJ. Ex-judge, three others sentenced in vote fraud Associated Press LEXINGTON, Ky. A former judge and three other officials in Eastern Kentucky have been sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to charges alleging widespread vote fraud. A federal judge said during a sentencing hearing Tuesday that three of the defendants former Clay County Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle, former school superintendent Doug Adams and former election officer William Stivers must serve 100 days of home incarceration. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports they were also place on supervised release for two years, along with the fourth defendant, former county clerk Freddy W. Thompson. Prosecutors said the men used the Clay County Board of Elections to buy or steal votes in 2002, 2004 and 2006. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last year overturned their convictions after determining that a jury heard evidence it shouldn't have during a trial. They later pleaded guilty in exchange for shorter sentences. U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell described their actions as "nothing short of despicable." Caldwell gave each man a chance to speak during the hearing. Adams and Maricle chose to do so. "I am not making any excuses. I am sorry," Adams said. Maricle said he hoped for "a new beginning," saying that "what has been in the past will not be in the future." Prosecutor Jason Parman asked the judge to give the men longer sentences, saying they tried to take away voting rights from residents. "If we don't stand for democracy, everything else this court does is pretty much meaningless," Parman said. Four others who pleaded guilty in the case are scheduled to be sentenced later this month. J "KKfc i 1 Smarter. Faster. More Colorful. USA TODAY CJ-0000370431 jjjp JSj Enter for your chance to win our $3000 Grocery Derby Draw! Call 1-877-333-6156 between April 10th and April 24th to enter 3 lucky winners will be chosen to win a gift card Win - $1500 gift card Place - $1000 gift card Show - $500 gift card Brought J (&mntV$OUtml to you by: Offer expires 42414. No purchase necessary. For complete rules, visit courier-journal.comcontests. Winners will be drawn at random. Kroger is not a participating sponsor of this offer. All call-ins will receive a promotional offer from The Courier-Journal. Must be 18 years or older to enter. CJ-0000372588

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 19,500+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Courier-Journal
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free