It’s no secret that Jeff Brohm is on the stepping stone path to landing a big-time job. He made the leap from assistant coach to a head-coaching gig at Western Kentucky before accepting his current position at Power 5 school Purdue.
It’s also no secret that coaching Tennessee would be a huge upgrade for him, probably meeting a milestone for his career.
As a player, Brohm was a two-year starter for the Louisville Cardinals in college before spending seven seasons in the NFL. With that experience under his belt, he knows what it takes to get to get to the next level. Furthermore, he spent 11 seasons as an offensive or quarterbacks coach, so he is an offensive-minded coach specifically keying on quarterbacks, which would be a positive change around Knoxville.
As a head coach, Brohm is a combined 34-16 overall between his gig at Western Kentucky and his first year at Purdue. In 2014, he took over a Hilltopper program that had not won more than eight games in the past decade. In his second year at the helm, they won 11 games.
Western Kentucky showed off a prolific offense under Brohm’s direction. In all three seasons under him, the Hilltoppers’ offense ranked in the top five in the country in both passing and scoring. He won two conference titles, had two 10+ win seasons and won three bowl games en route to gaining experience at the Power 5 level in West Lafayette, Indiana. The videos of his pregame speeches in the locker room support his reputation as one of the most intense coaches in the country. He gets his players ready to run through a wall for him.
On the other side of Brohm’s resume, he has only a partial Power 5 season in his coaching career. At that, Purdue is barely even considered a Power 5 school. The biggest name he coached under was Bobby Petrino and, well, that’s all I need to say about that. Despite his impressive record at Western Kentucky, the program only played against six Power 5 schools under Brohm, compiling a 1-5 record.
On top of this, his defense was average-at-best, giving up over 405 yards per game. This season made the Boilermakers look like they were playing with a vengeance, but he lost to Rutgers — that’s like playing a bye week. Brohm is still an up-and-comer looking to make a name for himself, similar to let’s just say a coach from a Louisiana Tech or a Cincinnati have been in the past. Hiring another coach on the cheap would send the Volunteer faithful into an united grumble and would put John Currie under a ton of pressure.
I’m sure Jeff Brohm is a great guy and could be really witty in the media. That’s not what this hire needs to be. The past two coaches at Tennessee, Derek Dooley and Butch Jones, have came in and said all the right things to get most people on board right away.
The results from both of those coaches don’t need to be mentioned. As mentioned before, Brohm hardly has any Power 5 experience and is still an coach rising through the ranks, but has more things in common with Dooley and Jones. The pregame speeches and antics are great, and they’d get anyone fired up, but those work in the SEC right up until kickoff.
Sure his offense at Western Kentucky was magnificent, but his defense couldn’t stop the cheerleaders, something that echoes Dooley’s teams. This would be a bunt when Currie needs to be swinging for the fences to get the home run hire that the fan base is dying for.
HIRE RANKING: 4/10