Louisville hires Jeff Broome: Former Cardinals QB, assistant returns to alma mater after six years at Purdue

On Thursday, the University of Louisville announced the appointment of Jeff Brohm as its head coach. Broome, a Louisville native who played quarterback for the Cardinals in the ’90s, is leaving Purdue after six successful seasons to return to his alma mater. The Louisville Board of Trustees formally approved Brohm at a Thursday meeting.

Brohm has led the Boilermakers to a 36-34 record across those six campaigns with a 17-9 mark over the past two seasons and an appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game following the 2022 campaign. Prior to joining Purdue, he coached Western Kentucky to a 30-10 grade in three years and a record £22-5 in the last two years.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Jeff Broom and his family to the University of Louisville,” said Athletic Director Josh Hurd. “The Brohms are synonymous with Louisville, and Jeff has made a lasting impact on our city as a high school star, college football player, professional athlete and coach. But beyond his ties to the city, what excites me most about Jeff is that he has had success at the highest level in football.” College football. Quite simply put, Jeff is a proven winner. And along the way, he’s done it with an exciting brand of football that’s still innovative and entertaining, and he’s done it by making the right decisions with the interest of his student-athletes ahead. I knew we needed to define a leader Tremendous for our program that understands the history of Louisville Football, and who will be a long-term commitment to this school and this community. There’s no other coach in America who checks those boxes like Jeff Brohm.”

In addition to the Cardinals’ quarterback, Broome was an assistant at Louisville for six seasons under Bobby Petrino and Steve Cragthorpe. He served as the quarterbacks coach (2003-2006) and assistant head coach (2007-08) with duties as pass coordinator (2007) and offensive coordinator (2008) as well.

A return to Louisville had always seemed like a possibility for Brohm, though he turned down an offer to coach the Cardinals in November 2018 in favor of staying at Purdue after the program fired Petrino (in his second stint with the team). Louisville eventually hired Scott Satterfield, who left earlier this week after four seasons to coach Cincinnati.

“My family and I are honored to return home to the University of Louisville, a place we love, which has had such an impact on the shape of me as a player, coach and man,” Broome said. “I am so grateful and humbled that Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Schätzl, Josh Hurd, and the ULAA Board believe I am the right person to lead this football program. I promise the energy, effort, and hard work every day on behalf of all the coaches, staff, and student-athletes. Our goal is to compete for championships while developing our student-athletes into leaders True on and off the field. These guys will make our university, our community, and our fan base proud to be the Louisville Cardinals. This city means a lot to me and my family. Louisville is who we are. Thank you all for welcoming us home.”

Broome is expected to receive a contract that will average around $6 million over six seasons, according to ESPN. His departure left the Boilermakers looking for a new coach as the program comes off of its first-ever Big Ten West title. With Broome gone, the division will have three new coaches for the 2023 season as Matt Rule will take over at Nebraska and Luke Fickel will take over at Wisconsin.

career overachiever

After his playing career, Brohm served six years as an assistant for the Cardinals before moving on to the coaching staffs at FAU, Illinois, and UAB. Then, in 2013, he arrived at Western Kentucky as Petrino’s offensive coordinator. When Petrino returned to Louisville after just one season with the Hilltoppers, Brohm got the head coaching job and took WKU to new heights. The program’s 12-win season in 2015 and 11-win season in 2016 under Brohm remain WKU’s only seasons with double-digit wins in its 14 years as an FBS program.

His quick success earned him the Purdue job at a time when the Boilermakers were in a pit of despair, going 9-39 over the previous four seasons. Brohm took them to a bowl victory in his senior season, which soon drew him attention from more high-profile jobs. At one point, he was strongly tied to Tennessee during the Volunteers’ rambling 2017 search to replace Butch Jones. But Broome stayed put and directed the program for another bowl appearance in 2018.

Although the Boilermakers only finished 6-12 during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, consecutive 6-3 play in the Big Ten over the past two seasons marks the best two-year showing of collegiate play for the Boilermakers since 1997 and 1998 when the program finished 6-2 in Big Ten in consecutive seasons under Joe Tiller.

Broome’s style befits the Cardinals

The hire continues Louisville’s legacy of offensive coaches who have made the program a consistent producer of statistically impressive quarterbacks. Aside from Charlie Strong’s successful four-year stint from 2010-2013 as a coach with a defensive background, Louisville has hired offensive minds for most of the 21st century in Petrino, Cragsthorpe, and Satterfield.

But even under Strong, the offense became Louisville’s calling card as Teddy Bridgewater starred for the Cardinals in 2013 during a 12-1 season with nearly 4,000 yards passing with 31 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Then came Lamar Jackson during Petrino’s second stint. The current quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 before Malik Cunningham entered the picture in 2018. Cunningham has been a mainstay at the center for the past five seasons but is out.

This means that Broome will likely be looking for a central midfielder for the 2023 season, and it stands to reason that plenty of players in the position would be drawn into his system. Over the past two seasons, former player Aidan O’Connell has thrown for over 7,000 yards for the Boilermakers, who are among the most passing teams in the country. Purdue ranks second in Big Ten passing offense this season behind only Ohio State, and the Boilermakers’ 541 passing attempts rank fourth in the country this season.


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