Jeff Brohm, one of the most accomplished signal callers in school history, returns to his alma mater to lead the University of Louisville football program, UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Josh Heird announced on Thursday.
The 24th head coach in school history, Brohm’s No. 11 jersey is one of 26 to be honored by the program throughout its history.
“We’re excited to welcome Head Coach Jeff Brohm and his family home to the University of Louisville,” Heird said. “The Brohms are synonymous with Louisville, and Jeff has made a lasting impact on our city as a high school star, college quarterback, professional athlete and coach. But beyond his ties to the city, what excites me most about Jeff is that he’s had success at the highest level of college football. To put it simply, Jeff is a proven winner. 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 interest of his student-athletes at the forefront. I knew we needed 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 checks those boxes like Jeff Brohm.”
“Today is a great day for the University of Louisville as Jeff Brohm is coming home to the Commonwealth,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “Britainy and I want to personally welcome his family and we know he will not only be a great coach, but also a great member of our Louisville and Kentucky community.”
Brohm ushers in a new era of UofL football after elevating the Purdue program to unprecedented success during his six seasons as head coach.
Hired on Dec. 5, 2016, he guided the Boilermakers to four bowl appearances and the school’s first Big Ten West Divisional title in 2022. The Boilermakers fell to No. 2 Michigan in the Big Ten title game, but Purdue was awarded a trip to the Citrus Bowl.
“My family and I are honored to return home to the University of Louisville, a place we love, which has been so influential in shaping me as a player, a coach and a man,” Brohm said. “I am extremely grateful and humbled that Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Schatzel, Josh Heird and the ULAA Board believe that I am the right person to lead this football program. I promise relentless energy, effort, and hard work every single day on behalf of all our coaches, staff and student-athletes. Our goal is to compete for championships while also developing our student-athletes into true leaders on and off the field. These young men will make our university, our community, and our fan base proud to be Louisville Cardinals. This city means a great deal to me and my family. Louisville is who we are. Thank you all for welcoming us back home.”
Prior to his arrival in West Lafayette, the Boilermakers won a combined nine games over four seasons. In his six seasons at Purdue, Brohm compiled a 36-34 overall mark with the Boilermakers. He led the program to notable victories, posting three wins over Top 3 teams: No. 2 Ohio State in 2018; No. 2 Iowa in 2021; and, No. 3 Michigan State in 2021.
Over the last two seasons, Brohm’s teams compiled a 17-9 record, including a 9-4 mark in 2021 – the school’s first nine-win season since 2003. The school achieved back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2006-07.
In nine seasons as a head coach, Brohm boasts a career record of 66-44, a .600 winning percentage, and has positioned himself as one of the top offensive minds in the country. His passing offenses have placed in the top 20 in eight of his nine seasons as an FBS coach, which ranked 13th on average over that span.
In his tenure at Purdue, Brohm produced nine National Football League draft picks, highlighted by defensive end George Karlaftis, who was selected as the No. 23 pick in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022. Wide receiver Rondale Moore was a second-round selection in 2021 by the Arizona Cardinals, and wideout David Bell was taken in the third round by the Cleveland Browns in 2022.
Playing in Brohm’s high-powered offense, several Boilermakers were honored for their accomplishments within the league. Moore and Bell captured back-to-back Big Ten Freshman of the Year awards and Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year awards, while Brycen Hopkins was tabbed the Big Ten Tight End of the Year in 2019. Moore was also the 2018 Paul Hornung Award winner as the nation’s most versatile player.
Three Boilermakers were named All-Americans during Brohm’s tenure in West Lafayette. Moore became the first true freshman consensus first team All-American in Big Ten history in 2018 before wide receiver David Bell and defensive end George Karlaftis earned All-America honors following the 2021 season. Bell was a consensus All-American, joining Moore as the second under Brohm and the 21st in Purdue history.
The 2021 season featured a 9-4 record, the second-most wins in Purdue history. The Boilermakers tied for second in the Big Ten West, which included a pair of Top 5 victories over No. 2 Iowa and No. 3 Michigan State, which handed both teams their first loss of their respective campaigns. The Boilermakers capped the campaign with a 48-45 overtime victory over Tennessee at the TransPerfect Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.
Purdue exceeded all expectations in his first season in 2017 and put the program on the map nationally. The Boilermakers won seven games, recaptured both of its rivalry trophies (the Cannon and the Old Oaken Bucket), and finished the season with Foster Farms Bowl victory over Arizona. They followed that up in 2018 with another Bowl appearance, and Top 25 victories over Boston College, Iowa, and a monumental victory over No. 2 Ohio State at Ross-Ade Stadium.
Prior to taking over in West Lafayette, Brohm spent three seasons at Western Kentucky, where he compiled a remarkable 30-10 overall record (.750 winning percentage), including a 19-5 Conference USA mark (.792), from 2014 to 2016. The Hilltoppers were league champions in 2015 and 2016, the school’s first back-to-back titles as an FBS member. They won the 2014 Bahamas Bowl (49-48 over Central Michigan) and the 2015 Miami Beach Bowl (45-35 over Miami), as well as the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl (51-31 over Memphis under interim head coach Nick Holt). Western Kentucky was ranked No. 24 in the final 2015 Associated Press poll.
In his first go-around as a head coach at Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers were one of the most explosive offensive units in the nation, averaging 44.6 points, 356.6 passing yards and 526.2 yards of total offense per game over three seasons on The Hill.
Under Brohm’s tutelage, WKU’s starting quarterbacks completed 69.2 percent of their passes and threw 131 touchdowns and just 25 interceptions. The offense averaged a hefty 7.3 yards per play, while running 72.1 plays per game. Brohm’s teams re-wrote the WKU record book, breaking more than 75 school offensive records since 2013, when the Louisville native served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Western Kentucky ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense (No. 6 in 2014, No. 3 in 2015 and No. 1 in 2016), passing offense (No. 2 in 2014, No. 4 in 2015 and No. 5 in 2016) and total offense (No. 4 in 2014, No. 9 in 2015 and No. 5 in 2016) each of Brohm’s three seasons as head coach.
As an assistant at his alma mater (2003-08), Brohm played an integral role in coaching during the high point of Louisville football. Serving as the quarterbacks coach in 2006, with his brother Brian as the quarterback, the Cardinals finished the season with a school best 12-1 record, which was capped by winning the Orange Bowl – the school’s first appearance in the Bowl Championship Series. That season, the offense ranked second nationally in total offense, fourth in scoring offense and were seventh in passing offense and 12th in rushing.
As the offensive coordinator in 2007, Louisville was just as explosive, finishing fourth nationally in passing offense, six in total offense and 18th in scoring.
One of the top quarterbacks in school history, Brohm returns to UofL where he enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career from 1989-93. A three-year starter, he still ranks among the Cardinals’ career leaders in touchdown passes (tied for eighth, 38), total offense (ninth, 5,410), completion percentage (ninth, .562), passing yards (10th, 5,451), and passing efficiency (ninth, 129.97), passing attempts (10th, 715) and completions (10th, 402) through the 2022 season. Brohm was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player during both his junior and senior seasons, and his No. 11 became part of the Louisville Ring of Honor in 2006.
Professionally, Brohm played eight seasons in the NFL, competing with the San Diego Chargers (1994), Washington Redskins (1995-96), San Francisco 49ers (1997-98), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1998), Denver Broncos (1999) and Cleveland Browns (2000). In eight career games – all with the 49ers – he completed 37 of 58 passes (63.8 percent) for 353 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His best game came Oct. 27, 1996, when he completed 19 of 30 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown to lead San Francisco to a 10-9 win over the Houston Oilers. In 2001, Brohm played in the XFL for the Orlando Rage and was named first-team All-XFL.
A standout at Trinity High, Brohm was awarded the Kentucky Mr. Football Award as a senior in 1988, while leading the Shamrocks to a state championship and undefeated season. Brohm was named the Kentucky High School Player of the Decade for the 1980s and was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
A native of Louisville, Brohm, 51, (born April 24, 1971) earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1994. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a son, Brady, and a daughter, Brooke. Jeff is one of four family members to be a football letterwinner at Louisville, along with his father, Oscar (quarterback 1966-69), and brothers, Greg (wide receiver 1989-92) and Brian (quarterback 2004-07). The Brohm family, including mother, Donna, and sister, Kim, was inducted into the Louisville Catholic Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.