LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jeff Brohm knows all about success.
The former Trinity and University of Louisville star quarterback is 30-10 in three seasons as a head coach in college football. He led Western Kentucky to a 22-5 record over the last two seasons. Now, the 46-year-old has moved on to a bigger challenge.
He takes over a Purdue program that has only won nine games, total, in the last four seasons.
"The challenge is going to be tremendous for us," Brohm said. "I think Purdue has not been where it wants to be lately and it's up to us as coaches and players to try and get that back, which I think we can do."
The Boilermakers kick off the Brohm Era against his alma mater, UofL, on Sept. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
"It's not my first choice for games to start with, but it's the one we have," he said. "It's a great opponent, it's at a great venue, Lucas Oil Stadium. Louisville has been tremendous the last couple of years. They have a Heisman Trophy winner that's unbelievable."
Brohm is currently eighth in the UofL record book with 5,451 career passing yards. His brother, Brian, who is Purdue's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, is second, with 10,775. Jackson figures to pass Jeff on opening night in Indianapolis. He enters the 2017 season with 5,383 career yards, just 68 behind the Purdue head coach.
"This guy is an unbelievable athlete," Jeff said. "I've watched him for the last couple years as a fan and he's a guy that can carry a team. He can do it all, he's hard to tackle and the ball is in his hands every play. There is always the chance he can go the distance and score. That's what makes him very dangerous."
He says there is some benefit to opening with the Heisman Trophy winner.
"When you know that's the opponent you have in the first game, I think it causes you as coaches and players to work that much harder in the summer to make sure when that game comes about and it's on national TV, that you're ready to go."
The process will take time -- he knows that -- but he also knows that getting a win over UofL or Michigan or Wisconsin in 2017 would help speed up the rebuilding effort in West Lafayette.
"I think in general, for us, we'd love to get to a bowl game somehow," Brohm said. "That means that we're going to have to beat some good football teams. We're going to have to compete and fight and find a way to win in the fourth quarter. I do think it can be done but we've got to prove that we can do it. Right now our players are starting to buy in and believe, but I think until you do it on the field, against a good opponent, you're never really going to know. We need that one big win to hopefully skyrocket us and give us some momentum."
Brohm won 15 games as a starting quarterback at UofL. That is tied for ninth all-time, just ahead of, you guessed it, Lamar Jackson, and his 14 wins.
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