A month ago, sources told FootballScoop that Purdue officials were contemplating the future should Louisville fire Bobby Petrino and come calling for Jeff Brohm. Nine days ago Louisville took action publicly with regards to Petrino, cutting ties with Petrino amid a 2-8 season in which it appears his players simply stopped believing.
Sources tell FootballScoop Purdue officials have been working parallel paths, one to try to keep Brohm and the other should they need to replace him.
Regarding the first path, we hear Purdue has been able to muster support to demonstrate their commitment to Brohm. Director of athletics Mike Bobinski will ensure Brohm hears the message and sees the numbers. If Brohm wants to stay at Purdue, he will be well rewarded, we are told.
Alas, should Brohm decide Louisville is where he ultimately wants to make his mark, Purdue will be prepared to execute a search in short order. Sources tell FootballScoop that Purdue officials have their list and will move immediately into interviews should Brohm decide to leave.
Among the coaches we hear have been discussed at the highest levels in West Lafayette are: Neal Brown, Butch Jones, Skip Holtz, Tony Elliott, Matt Canada and Mike Norvell.
A brief look at those who might become "candidates":
Neal Brown - Troy head coach Neal Brown has a chance to put together his third consecutive 10+ win season with a win over App State. Already with 30 wins in the last three years, Brown is a very hot offensive minded head coach. The former Kentucky offensive coordinator knows the area and could move into West Lafayette with considerable familiarity.
Butch Jones - In three seasons at Central Michigan, Jones won two conference championships. In three seasons at Cincinnati, Jones won two conference championships. In four seasons at Tennessee, following Derek Dooley and facing Nick Saban each year, Jones was not able to win two conference championships, but his teams never lost a game to a non-bowl eligible team and in Years 2-4 his teams finished ranked in the Top 25 each year and won their bowl game. A year on Nick Saban's staff certainly hasn't been a bad thing either.
Skip Holtz - The former Notre Dame offensive coordinator, who has gone on to serve as head coach at UConn, East Carolina, South Florida and Louisiana Tech appeals to many an athletic director for the leadership that he brings to the team and to the University. In his last two seasons at UConn, Holtz's teams won 17 games, including 10 his final season. In his final three seasons at ECU, the Pirates won 26 games, including back-to-back 9-win seasons. At Louisiana Tech he has had a run of three consecutive 9-win seasons and has won 41 games the past five seasons.
Matt Canada - In hiring Jeff Brohm two years ago Purdue went with one of the brightest offensive minds in the game. Canada is generally thought of as having one of the more interesting offensive styles and his interim role at Maryland this season can be seen as nothing but a plus. His inability to stay with a staff for any considerable period of time is often discussed within the industry, but he keeps scoring points on points on points. Canada grew up right down the road from Purdue and has coached throughout the region making him a very familiar face with recruits and high school coaches.
Tony Elliott - Before even talking football, Purdue has to recognize the beauty of potentially hiring a man with an engineering degree to run their football program! The man worked at Michelin for goodness sakes. This is a match made in engineering school one might say.... Aight, no more jokes. Elliott's offense at Clemson has been the standard in college football the past few years. A Broyles Award winner, Elliott is ready and can afford to be choosy. If Elliott were the choice, every coach, every talking head and every player would be intrigued and positive on the hire.
Mike Norvell - Having won 25 games in three seasons at Memphis, Mike Norvell is now a known quantity. His offensive style is fast. Pair him with an aggressive defensive coordinator and Purdue football would continue to be nothing but fun.
Although we haven't heard his name in the wind in connection with this job yet, Dino Babers could also be a nice fit. A proven HC, who's squad is having their best season by far this year at Syracuse is likely to get some looks. Babers has a history of not staying too long in any one place. We'll see....
Jeff Brohm's decision will likely be known in the next 6 days. Two years ago, before Brohm was hired, Darrell Hazell was on his way out and not many coaches were lining up for this job. Two years later, there is a buzz about the future of Purdue football. How great is that? Stay tuned men....
As always, for the latest coaching job information stay tuned to The Scoop!