As fans waited impatiently to learn Jeff Brohm’s decision it was reported that the Louisville legend was emotionally torn, which is why the news came later than anticipated.
In a one-on-one interview with Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal Courier, Brohm confirmed how hard the decision was and confirmed that the choice to remain at Purdue has disappointed a lot of people close to him.
I’d recommend reading the full article here. Below is an excerpt with notable quotes.
“This is by far No. 1. The hardest ever. Not even close,” Brohm said about the decision to stay with the Boilermakers and bypass an opportunity to return home.
The news Wednesday that Brohm was staying at Purdue brought joy and relief to Purdue’s fan base. The reaction was much different across the Ohio River where the city firmly believed Brohm was returning to save the Cardinals from their recent struggles. He confirmed he met with Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra on Tuesday.
The bottom line – Brohm wasn’t going to make everyone happy, including some who are close to him.
“It was gut-wrenching. It was excruciating. More emotional than I would like, which is a whole lot emotional,” Brohm said. “I know I wasn’t going to please everybody. When you know whatever you do you’re not going to please everybody, you times it by another 10. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was by far above 10 and nothing has been close.”
Louisville fired Bobby Petrino on Nov. 11, two weeks before the end of the regular season. Brohm’s name was immediately linked to the job, which shocked no one.
He’s a Louisville native, attended Trinity High School where he was a star quarterback and played football for the Cardinals and later in the NFL. The Brohm family is a fixture throughout the community.
The pull of returning home was real.
“It has disappointed quite a few people. It has disappointed quite a few people that I’m close to, actually real close to. I get it. But at the same time, you have to be strong in your conviction and believe in what you’re all about. None of us are perfect – I’m not – but I’m going to try to do the right thing,” Brohm said.
“Purdue’s been great and that’s no shot at Louisville. Louisville was great to me,” Brohm said. “I like it where I’m at and I think we have all the resources we need to continue to get better and improve and try to become a contender and a competitor in a great conference to play at a high level.
“Really, the last place I was at (Western Kentucky) I probably would’ve stayed there forever other than this is a step up in football and I need to do it right here.”
Most coaches focus on themselves and their own family during these situations – and Brohm certainty took care of his own interests – but he came across Thursday as an individual who genuinely cared about how his decision would impact everyone around him.
Players. Current commitments. Future recruits. Assistant coaches and their families. Support personnel. And many others.
“As a coach but also a former player you always hear ‘Take care of yourself, take care of your family,’ ” he said. “When someone moves and takes another job, it affects a lot of people. It affects the staff you have, it affects the people that you have that have helped you to get where you’re at.
“More importantly, the players on your team that you asked to play for you and for the university, the recruits you recruit, the recruits that you are recruiting and in the recruiting process you have to tell people what you believe and not just what they want to hear.”
Brohm sits in the homes of his current commitments and their families. He did last year, even before the Louisville job was open but everyone knew the deep ties Brohm has with the city.
They asked pointed questions.
“When I sit in people’s house and they specifically ask me, ‘Coach, are you going to be there? And I say, ‘Yes’ and even more detailed when people like Rondale Moore and others specifically ask me, ‘Coach, I’m not interested in going there if you’re going to Louisville. You’re not going to Louisville, are you? and I say, ‘No, I’m not going to be there.’
“I don’t think when an opportunity comes that is convenient for you that is a place that means a lot to you that it’s just OK to take care of yourself and your family but what about the other people?”
In the end, Brohm was in a win-win situation personally but in a no-win situation overall.
“Am I going to be taken care of? It’s a win-win. But affecting other people and their opinion of you and your reputation and that’s more important than any other thing you have or any monetary thing you have,” Brohm said.
“I knew I was going to take a shot either way. That’s what I didn’t like about it, but I didn’t ask for this to happen. It happened. I can’t complain about it, but it was tough, yeah, I feel like some people are disappointed.”
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Brohm rejecting Louisville is an absolute gut punch to the fans. With that said, he didn’t owe us anything. Brohm is content with his situation and couldn’t walk away.
I’m sure others see it differently, but I don’t think he entertained the Louisville offer to gain leverage with Purdue. I believe he strongly considered coming home, but is comfortable with what he has in West Lafayette.<