Why did Jeff Brohm stay at Purdue?

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Shortly after Bobby Petrino was fired, many of us, myself included, thought that Jeff Brohm would leave Purdue for Louisville. After deciding to stay at Purdue, Jeff Brohm did a 20+ minute interview ESPN 680 AM in Louisville. I give him credit for being willing to go on Louisville radio after spurning them.

Drew Deener Show - Jeff Brohm Interview

I suggest you listen because then you can hear the raw emotion involved, particularly when he tells his father he's staying at Purdue. For those with less time, here's a few highlights:

ESPN 680: Take me through the 48-hour period and your weighing the two jobs back and forth.

BROHM: "We’re locked behind closed doors. We’re just trying to talk everything through and make sure we make the right decision. And believe me, it was not a comfortable 48 hours. There were things said that probably didn’t need to be said. There were some temper flareups and some people giving their opinion. You never want to do anything that is going to hurt anybody. Unfortunately, being put in this situation, which was a great situation to be put in, I knew in the end it was going to hurt somebody. You just try to think everything through. You try to go over every scenario, analyze things and put yourself in as many different situations as possible. It was rough. It was extremely rough and even when I made the decision, it wasn’t a fun decision to make. It was way more powerful than I could imagine, because what you think is a simple decision affects numerous things around you and numerous opinions whether it’s right or wrong. ...

ESPN 680: Were both offers competitive from a financial standpoint?

BROHM: "Yes. That wasn’t a factor. ...

ESPN 680: Do you think it will be awkward coming back to Louisville?

BROHM: "That’s something that, trust me, it was discussed. I get it. There may be some people that are upset. I do think that in the end you can’t make a decision based strictly on what others are going to think of you. While that does matter and you want people to think well of you, I’ve always tried to do the right thing. Coaching is a different profession. You look at it where you develop relationships along the way. You tell people something and you never go back on your word. I know it’s never going to be perfect. I’ve got guys on my team who I’ve recruited and developed relationships with. For example, I got a guy like Rondale Moore, okay, up for the Heisman in his first year and achieved things that I didn’t even think he could do. When I recruited him, and I was around him and his family and uncle, trust me every time I’m there, they asked me ‘Coach, I only want to come there if you’re going to be there. Are you going to be there?’ And I had to answer that question and be honest with it. Without question, he would say ‘Coach, you’re not going to go to Louisville are you?’ and at the time, no. I had to answer the question as honest as I could and I said no. He wasn’t the only one. There were other guys who asked those questions. You have to answer them honestly. To think that it is easy to go back on your word and just go ahead and pick up and leave after you told people what you thought of the program and what you were going to do for them, how you could help them achieve all their goals and then pick up and do what’s best for you is something that I don’t think is right. It’s hard to look in the mirror and say that was the right thing to do just because it was best for me. ...

ESPN 680: Why was that different than when you left WKU? Did you have similar thoughts when you left there for Purdue having to tell players you would be there for a while?

BROHM: "Well, trust me, when I left WKU, it was after three years and I didn’t want to leave then. I didn’t. I grew close to my players. Even after the championship game when I thought about taking the (Purdue) job, I didn’t want to take it. And then, as people talked to me, just like before we talked things through. You know what, (I thought) we had been there three years and we had won two championships in a row and I felt like we had the program at a high level. I don’t know a whole lot more we could have done (at WKU). ...

ESPN680: Was it the toughest to tell your dad (Oscar) that you weren’t taking the job (at Louisville)?

(long pause)

BROHM: Without question. He loves Louisville and he lived there all his life. (pause)

"Yeah, it was (Brohm is emotional)."

ESPN680: I have know your agent for a couple of years, and it didn’t come into use until the last couple of weeks (laughter). But the notion that Shawn Freibert (Brohm’s agent) pulled a Jerry Maguire tried to persuade both sides to try to get more money is a pretty funny image for me. So I have one perspective on it. When you hear people say "he is just trying to get more money, " what do you say to that?

BROHM: "I think people know what kind of car I drive (2004 Honda Accord). I could care less about the money. That is part of the process (the money) and I get it. Whatever you get, you have to give back to the community. If it hadn’t been Louisville, I would never have entertained it (leaving Purdue). In the end, I thought I had to look in the mirror and do the right thing. That is what I tried to do."

Wow! Just WOW! If it hadn't been Louisville, he would never have entertained leaving Purdue! Let that sink in. My sense is that he feels a genuine commitment and wants to take Purdue as far as he feels he can before leaving. Needless to say, after listening to this interview and reading some of the other pieces, I am a much bigger Jeff Brohm fan. I suppose that would make it a Brohmance!

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