Multiple media outlets are reporting that WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm has been chosen to lead the Hilltopper's football team following the departure this week of coach Bobby Petrino for Louisville.
Brohm's promotion is expected to be made public as early as Friday morning.
The 42-year-old Brohm will become head coach for the first time in his football career. Last season, as an assistant under Petrino, WKU set a school record with eight wins in a Football Bowl Subdivision season and offensive yards with 5,502.
Petrino said Thursday that he believes Brohm is ready to become a head coach. He added that grooming Brohm for the higher position was one of the main recruiting points used to get Brohm to come to WKU in the first place.
WKU athletic director Todd Stewart comments Thursday about Bobby Petrino's departure
Despite reports that WKU could be close to naming a new football coach, the school's athletic director is refusing to address such speculation.
In a phone conference with reporters Thursday afternoon, WKU's Todd Stewart said he wanted to focus on former coach Bobby Petrino, who was introduced as the new coach at the University of Louisville Thursday morning.
Stewart was asked if he tried to keep Petrino from leaving WKU after only one season.
"Certainly the Louisville job, with where their program is, with what they've achieved in recent years, and with them heading into the ACC--that's a big-time job. I don't think there's anything that we could have done here that we weren't already doing that would have persuaded him to turn that down and stay here," Stewart said.
Multiple media outlets have reported that Stewart has met with WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm about the Hilltopper head coaching job.
WKU President Gary Ransdell told the Courier-Journal he considered Brohm the leading candidate for the job and planned to interview the former U of L quarterback Thursday.
Bobby Petrino has been introduced as the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals at a press conference Thursday morning. Moments before, WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart released this statement:
“President Ramsey, Tom Jurich and the University of Louisville have made a tremendous hire, and I wish Bobby, Becky and the Petrino family much success and happiness in Louisville," said Stewart.
"Coach Petrino displayed a tireless work ethic throughout his 13 months as our head coach and was completely devoted to WKU football from the day he was hired. Our program benefited greatly from his presence, knowledge and leadership. He will do a terrific job leading the Louisville football program as they move into the Atlantic Coast Conference, and I am also confident he will take an already outstanding program to even loftier heights.”
WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart has issued a statement regarding football coach Bobby Petrino's decision to leave the school for the University of Louisville head coaching position.
Petrino was officially introduced Thursday morning as the new Cardinals head coach, his second stint at U of L. Petrino led the Cardinals from 2003-2006 and gained a reputation as one of the nation's most creative offensive innovators.
Here is the statement released Thursday by WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart:
Bobby Petrino likes to throw the ball all over the field. Antonio Andrews runs the ball so well the coach has changed his ways with Western Kentucky for now.
Andrews ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers downed Navy 19-7 Saturday, beating the Midshipmen at their own ground game.
The senior running back outgained the nation's best rushing offense all by himself as Western Kentucky (3-2) held Navy to 107 yards, well below the 398 yards the Midshipmen averaged through the first two games. The Hilltoppers outgained Navy 417-183 in total offense and held the ball 37 minutes.
Petrino called it a great win. And yes, he says the Hilltoppers are a little different on offense.
"We're running the ball, and we had to just stick to it today and work hard at moving the sticks, work hard at working the clock when we had the lead," Petrino said. "I'd love to take a couple shots there, but that's not what we needed to do to win the game."
After starting the season with three games away from home, the WKU football team is gearing up for its first contest at L.T. Smith Stadium.
The Hilltoppers host Morgan State this Saturday night, and hope to get back in the win column after dropping their last two games.
WKU head coach Bobby Petrino says players and staff are excited to finally play in Bowling Green.
"I'm looking forward to the routine for a home game, and what you do, and how you prepare," the first-year Hilltopper coach said. "I'm looking for a crowd that will come out with a lot of energy and excitement. It's always great to play at home. And hopefully that's something that will really help us and give us energy and help in our preparation."
This will be the first time WKU has played Morgan State, which brings an 0-3 record into Saturday's game.
WKU opened the season with a win in Nashville against Kentucky, but then lost at Tennessee and at South Alabama.
An online article highlights clashes between WKU football coach Bobby Petrino and a medical trainer who was fired in the spring.
The Chronicle of Higher Education story about friction between coaches and athletic trainers singled out the relationship between Petrino and former WKU associate athletic trainer Danny Cobble. The Chronicle’s story says Petrino questioned Cobble’s medical abilities, grew impatient with return-to-play times for players, and pushed back against decisions made by physicians.
Cobble says he was fired in the spring after being at WKU since 2009. When asked by the Courier-Journal about the article, A WKU athletics spokesman said neither coach Petrino or WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart would comment.
The Chronicle story spotlighted an incident in which Cobble says a doctor ordered surgery for an unidentified WKU football player. Cobble says Petrino wanted to treat the player with a cortisone shot instead. The player eventually had surgery.
The Chronicle surveyed hundreds of athletic trainers and staff for their story. Of the 101 who responded, 53 said they felt pressure from football coaches to get players back on the field faster than the trainers felt was medically prudent.
You can read the full article from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.
WKU kicks off its 2013 football season Saturday night against Kentucky.
While the contest is technically a home game for WKU, it's being played at LP Field in Nashville. The game marks the debut for both WKU coach Bobby Petrino and UK head coach Mark Stoops.
Petrino says season-openers are always a major challenge for the coaching staff.
"We have to do a good job on the sidelines making sure we're coaching our guys in between series, and really understanding what Kentucky is trying to do to us, and making sure our players stay into it mentally," said Petrino.
Petrino has 75 career wins as a head coach, and his teams have made seven bowl appearances. The UK game marks Petrino's return to coaching following his 2012 firing as head coach of Arkansas. Petrino was let go by the SEC school after he lied to Arkansas officials about a motorcycle accident involving his mistress.