Jeff Brohm was back in his home town last month and go to talking about the big red Cardinal sitting in the corner of the room.
Why didn't you take the Louisville job when it was offered to you a couple years ago? Isn't this your dream job?
“OK, those are all good questions on the Louisville job,” Brohm said. “You know what ... after being at Purdue two years when it came open, that was a tough call. Tough call.
“To be quite honest, through my schooling and how I was raised, I believe in at least trying to do the right thing and having morals and values. It just was too early to leave (Purdue for U of L then). It just wasn’t right.
“You build relationships. People treat you right. The people there have treated me great. You talk to recruits and they asked me things. Just a lot of things went into it."
Okay, okay. Standard stuff. Nothing eyebrow-raising here. He's diplomatically praising Louisville while staying loyal to Purdue.
“But, obviously, now we’re on year six. I love this town, this area. I’m an alumnus of Louisville. So anything can happen in the future.”
For those who don't know the story here, Brohm is Louisville football royalty -- for both the City and University of Louisville.
His father, Oscar Brohm, was U of L's quarterback in the late 1960s, and later established a career as a coach at powerhouse Trinity High School in town. Jeff starred at quarterback for Trinity, throwing to older brother Greg and paving the way for (honestly, the star player of the family) younger brother Brian. After an NFL career, he moved into coaching... as the head coach of the Arena League's Louisville Fire.
After one season there, he joined U of L's staff as quarterbacks coach, and eventually moved to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. When he left, in 2009, it seemed to be only a matter of time before he returned as head coach, and his run at Western Kentucky stoked that fire. He went 30-10 from 2014-16, and in his final two years WKU was one of the premier programs in the Group of 5: 22-5 overall, 17-1 in Conference USA play with two league titles, the program's only year-end AP Top 25 ranking, led by offenses that scored 45 points a game.
If he could do an hour and a half down I-65 from his alma mater, how long until he brought similar success to the Motherland?
Brohm, of course, had the opportunity and declined, as he described above. But, coming off a 9-win season in Year 6 at Purdue, he left the door open with a 25-pound door stopper propping it open.
If you're Louisville's current head coach monitoring the reaction to those comments, this is image comes to mind.
Asked about his comments on Wednesday, Scott Satterfield said this. It's all standard, milquetoast, coach speak, until you get to the final sentence. I've put it in italics to match the tone to the words.
"I don't worry about it. He's got a job. I've got a job. For me, I don't worry about any outside noise, distractions, because that's what they are. Our job is to wake up and do the best job we can possibly do with our team. I owe it to everybody in this building, the 115 players we have in the locker room, the staff we have running around this building, to do the best we can do every single day, and to put a product on the field that's going to go win championships. That's what we're here for. We go win championships and we're going to keep this thing running for years to come, so he might have to wait a little bit more time before he decides to come back.
Now, for Satterfield, the time for his coaching to match his words is now. As in, today.
After a successful 8-5 debut in 2019 -- Louisville was the worst team in Power 5 football in 2018, worse than Kansas -- the last two seasons have not matched that standard. The Cardinals slid to 4-7 in 2020 and then went 6-7 last year. The 6-7 record was technically an improvement on 2020, but the Cards were blown out by Ole Miss to open the year and closed it with a blowout loss to Kentucky and a First Responder Bowl defeat at Air Force's hand. He's 0-3 against Kentucky and, um, interviewed for the South Carolina job in 2020, then fumbled his explanation of said interview.
But hope springs eternal, and Satterfield believes 2022 will be closer to 2019 than the two seasons in between. And if not, he's got a heckuva insurance policy with the 2023 recruiting class he's building, currently ranked seventh by the 247Sports Composite.
Peaking ahead to Louisville's schedule, one can see the Satterfield's team at 7-2 or 8-1 heading into a brutal finishing kick of Clemson, NC State and Kentucky. One can also see them at 4-5 or 3-6.
Satterfield needs a good September and a good October, otherwise the Guy She Told Him Not To Worry About will be the least of his worries.