BOZICH | 5 Questions with Louisville football coach Jeff Brohm | U of L Sports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Before Jeff Brohm disappeared into a blitz of recruiting, player evaluation, staff hirings and the countless other challenges presented by leaving Purdue to direct the Louisville football program, he sat down for a series of interviews at the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex Friday morning.

Brohm was relaxed, dressed in a red Louisville football T-shirt, casual slacks and sneakers. Still trim and moving gracefully like a former football, baseball and basketball star at Trinity High School, Brohm looked ready to report to the practice field and snap off several 15-yard down-and-out passes.

Brohm talked about the challenges of taking care of Coco, his Bernadoodle, and asked me if I had taken the time to walk my Labrador retriever, Ruby, prior to the interview. I had not.

“Might need to get up a little earlier,” Brohm said.

Always coaching.

We talked for almost 15 minutes. Here are the slightly edited Five Questions With Jeff Brohm.

BOZICH: I’m looking at your application before you were inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

Senior Class President, 1989 Trinity High School. Class rank 16th of 293 students. GPA 3.90. Trinity scholar National Honor Society member. You were built for this challenge of coaching the Cards, right?

Brohm: “Oh man, it makes me feel smart. You know, but I didn’t realize I had those academic accolades.

“But you know my days at Trinity I really cherish. It was a great school and I really got a lot out of not just the athletics, but just going to school there and being a part of a structured environment and learning about those things. So good times, good people. It’s good to be back.”

BOZICH: You’re now the Louisville football coach. You’ll be doing interviews for the next 90 minutes. After you’re done, what’s the first thing you’re going to do then and for the rest of the day to make Louisville football better?

Brohm: Well, I’ve already done things before and last night and the night before. So right now it’s about trying to get an opportunity to know our football team here a little bit.

“I don’t want to intrude a whole lot. They’re out there in bowl practice getting ready to play a bowl game.

“But there’s important decisions that need to be made by some of them (about staying or leaving). So I want to get an opportunity to get in front of them and listen to them as well and listen to our coaches. I want to get a chance to know the coaches here and make sure I get around them a little bit.

“And then recruiting is vital. So of course, you know the commitments that are already here at Louisville and the ones that we’re actively trying to get and some others and the portal is active.

“You’re just constantly on the phone, constantly planning. Who do I need to go see? What can I get done? Who would I need to get on the phone with? Making decisions to try to help the roster.

“I’ve got a long way to go. I mean, there’s a lot of work to be done. We’ve started and done a lot. I’ve already had what feels like a million conversations, even outside of interviews, with recruits and people and players. But there’s a million to be done. So it’s gonna take time, and I’m gonna have to just grind away here until signing day.”

BOZICH: Other than your older brother, Greg, who will be your top administrative assistant, have you made any decisions on your staff?

Brohm: “We’re going to have Ron English join us today at some point. Coached defense with us at Purdue the last two years. Was here before (the 2008 season at U of L under Steve Kragthorpe) so he understands the landscape. He does a really good job.

“We’re gonna have (running backs coach) Chris Barclay join us today, who is obviously a Louisville native. A great player at Male and Wake Forest and loves this community did a great job. He’s been coaching with me for a long time.

“We’re gonna have Garrick McGee join us who has coached here before (2014-15 under Bobby Petrino) as well. He is a former offensive coordinator and head coach, who understands the lay of the land here. Has done a great job for us this past year at Purdue.

“Those are the three guys we’re going to start with. I’m gonna leave some guys back to coach the bowl game (at Purdue) that will end up joining us when we’re done.

“Of course, you know, Brian (Brohm, Jeff’s younger brother and a former U of L quarterback) is going to be the interim coach (at Purdue) and get an opportunity to finish things off.

“I mean, I want our Purdue team to finish things off the right way. And I’m going to do right by them by doing that. You know we’ll piece this thing together. I don’t want to rush into anything. It’s about getting the right fit for these 10 assistant coaching spots and making sure that I explore all options and make sure I piece this thing together the right way.

“But Brian will be joining us here as the OC (offensive coordinator) when the ballgame is over. That for sure will happen.”

BOZICH: I talked to Beverlee Schnellenberger Thursday I asked her what Howard (her late husband and Brohm’s coach at Louisville) would say about this.

She said he would say Louisville is on a collision course to win the national title. The only variable is time and that time is now with Jeff Brohm. What’s your reaction to that?

Brohm: “Well, I’m very appreciative of Beverlee and Howard. They’ve been great to me. They mean a lot to me. They want this program to win. It means a lot to them.

“And they want me to be here because they know that I’m gonna put my heart and soul into it. They don’t lack confidence. They’re bold in their predictions.

“But we need to work to make those predictions work and I can tell you that I’m gonna try to work hard to get that done and make Beverlee happy. But she’s been a great supporter of ours and really, really cares about this community.”

BOZICH: Last one. I think my favorite quote from you at the press conference Thursday was, ‘I really don’t have any hobbies. I like football.’

You really don’t have any hobbies?

Brohm: “Well, you know what? Do I play golf as much anymore? No, I really don’t.

“I fish and hunt and do all those things. I really don’t. Really my hobbies have gotten to be… you know, football now, in order to win at a high level, it just takes a lot of time.

“And if I don’t spend a lot of time in it, I’m not good enough to help us win. So you gotta understand that.

“So as I tell my family, when I’m not doing football, I’ll be with you guys. I like to follow my daughter (Brooke’s) sporting events. I like to be with the immediate family as much as I can go to other sporting events. When we can, go and take a vacation here and there.

“But as far as truly, you know, having a hobby to kind of relax myself. No. It’s like the hobby has to be you’ve got to study football, and you’ve got to figure out a way to win.

“Winning is fun. But if you don’t put in the work, it just doesn’t happen. That’s how competitive it is nowadays.

“So that’s what my life has grown to. And I love it. So it’s not like I don’t enjoy doing that. But I know that if I don’t put that in, you know, just like my brother Greg didn’t have to study a lot. I had to study a lot. If I don’t put the work in, it’s not gonna happen.”

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