For the second time in the last three seasons, the WKU football team will face Central Michigan in a bowl game. The Toppers learned Sunday afternoon they’ll be playing in the Bahamas Bowl on Christmas Eve day. Central Michigan beat WKU 24-21 in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2012.
WKU head coach Jeff Brohm says the matchup of 7-5 teams should make for a competitive game.
“This is a great challenge for us, this is a team that beat us in the bowl game a couple years ago, so I know our players that’ve been here are looking forward to showing how far we’ve come since then,” said Brohm. “But it will definitely be a challenge for us. But we’re happy to be play another game. To play it in a setting like this against a good, solid football team is going to be fun for our guys.”
Game time is 11 a.m. CST on December 24th. Because of finals week, the team will wait until Thursday to begin full preparations for the game.
Athletic Director Todd Stewart says WKU didn’t officially know it was in the Bahamas Bowl until Sunday afternoon. But he says the process of making sure everyone on the team had a passport began several weeks ago.
“The conference told us we were one of the teams that was in line to possibly be in the Bahamas Bowl. And you really can’t wait until 10 days out or two weeks out to do all that. So we started a lot of that, and that process is well along,” said Stewart.
One game and WKU's quarterback is already in the Conference USA record books.
Brandon Doughty threw a school record six touchdown passes Friday night leading the Hilltoppers football team to a 59-31 win over Bowling Green State in the season opener. The six touchdowns tied a Conference USA record and his 569 total passing yards was 23 short of the conference record.
“I’ll be honest I didn’t really notice it until the fourth quarter," Doughty said of his performance. "They were trying to tell me and I just didn’t even want to know. I wanted to stay locked in and didn’t want to get too high on it. I just tried to play my game and was in a really good rhythm early."
The victory was the first for WKU's Jeff Brohm as a collegiate head coach. WKU has now won three straight home openers.
That's how first year head coach Jeff Brohm started off WKU football media day inside Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium Saturday morning, just hours before the first of the team's 23 scheduled practices that afternoon.
Besides a new head coach, the third in the past three years, the Tops begin the season in a new conference, moving to Conference USA this summer after decades in the Sun Belt Conference. They finished 8-4 last year, their eighth season in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
"We're excited about joining the new conference," Brohm said, "It'll be a challenge for us and we'll have to earn respect but that's what college football is all about if you want to become the best."
Brohm said the team had a good summer working on strength and conditioning to get in the best shape possible so a lot of players can see game action on both sides of the ball and they can stay fresh. But right now, all the team is thinking about and working towards is the first game of the regular season.
New WKU head football coach Jeff Brohm says he doesn’t think college football players should be paid. A recent court decision gave players at Northwestern University the right to explore the formation of a union. But Brohm says scholarships and a college education are quite valuable.
“Obviously, there are different opinions on that. But I think the scholarship is the best way to handle things. You can debate back-and-forth on ‘do they need more?’ but I feel good about the situation as it is. I think they’re always continuing to try to improve ways to take care of athletes, but I feel like they’re taken care of pretty well, myself,” said Brohm.
Brohm spoke Wednesday at the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club. Spring practices for the ‘Toppers football team culminate this Saturday with the Red vs. White scrimmage, which is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m. The regular season begins in late August and will be WKU's first in Conference USA
WKU has a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Head coach Jeff Brohm has selected Cincinnati’s Tyson Helton to fill the role that Brohm himself held last season. Helton spent one year as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Cincinnati. The Bearcats had a 9-4 season and appeared in the Belk Bowl against North Carolina.
Helton has 13 years of coaching experience, including six at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Brohm and Helton were on the same staff at UAB in 2012.
Helton, 36, played football and earned his bachelor’s degree from Houston. He and his wife April have two daughters, ages 10 and 8 and twin 5-year-old boys.
WKU football is heading into a new conference with its third head coach in as many seasons.
At a news conference Friday afternoon on campus, Jeff Brohm was introduced as the new Hilltopper head coach. Brohm served last season as WKU’s offensive coordinator under Bobby Petrino, who left this week after 13 months on the Hill to become the coach at Louisville.
Brohm was asked whether he considered going to U of L with Petrino.
“Well, that was obviously always in the discussion, and Coach (Petrino) knew what I wanted," said Brohm, a Louisville native and former star University of Louisville quarterback. "There were some things that came up before this, some opportunities that I had a chance to do."
"We sat down and talked and Coach told me I had a great opportunity to be the (WKU) head football coach if I do things right.”
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.