BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Western Kentucky University head football coach Bobby Petrino solidified his 2013 coaching staff by hiring Jeff Brohm as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator, and Nick Holt as the defensive coordinator, Petrino announced on Wednesday. The announcement of Brohm and Holt gives WKU nine assistant coaches, as seven were announced by Petrino on Tuesday.
Together, Brohm and Holt have combined to coach in 16 bowl games, including six BCS bowl games, with Holt also winning a national championship with Southern California. The two have 34 years of combined coaching experience, with collegiate coaching stints ranging from Arkansas, Illinois, Louisville, Southern California and Washington, among others.
Both Brohm and Holt have also competed at the highest level as players, as Brohm starred for the University of Louisville as a quarterback from 1989-93, spending eight seasons in the National Football League after his college playing days were over. Holt was a linebacker for Pacific for four seasons before beginning his coaching career immediately following his playing career.
Brohm comes to the Hill owning experience as an offensive coordinator at both Louisville and UAB, as he served as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2008 at Louisville, and most recently served as the offensive coordinator at UAB in 2012. Brohm re-joins Petrino at WKU after serving under him at Louisville for three seasons. Brohm will work primarily with the WKU quarterbacks, while also serving as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
“It is great to have Jeff back,” Petrino said. “He is a tremendous teacher and is a guy that played the position at the highest level. He does an excellent job in game planning and understands what a quarterback needs to do to be successful. He has a great overall knowledge of the entire offense and we won’t miss a beat because we have been together before.”
Brohm is known for his development of quarterbacks, as he spent two years at Illinois before making the move to UAB in 2012. In his second year working with Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, Brohm guided the sophomore to improved numbers in passing yardage, completion percentage and passing efficiency in 2011. Scheelhaase's 138.0 rating was the fourth-best season mark in Illini history.
Brohm began molding Scheelhaase in 2010 and he quickly showed results, throwing 13 touchdowns and one interception over the last seven games of the season after throwing four touchdowns and seven interceptions in the first six games. Scheelhaase also broke the Illinois records for rushing by a quarterback and by a freshman with 868 yards.
Brohm also has Sun Belt Conference experience, spending the 2009 season as the quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic, where he was reunited with his college coach, Howard Schnellenberger. While Brohm was at FAU, the Owls averaged 27.4 points per game, 279.7 yards passing per contest and 432.1 yards of total offense per game.
During his time at Louisville, the Cardinals' passing attack flourished, including a record-breaking season in 2007 with Brohm's younger brother, Brian, as quarterback. Brian Brohm threw for 4,024 yards including 30 touchdowns, on his way to repeating second team All-Big East accolades. Brian finished second in the nation in passing efficiency and completed 68.8 percent of his throws in 2006.
In his first season as an assistant coach at Louisville, Jeff Brohm guided quarterback Stefan LeFors to a No. 1 national ranking in passing efficiency and completion percentage, and watched as the southpaw narrowly missed setting NCAA records in both categories.
As a player, Jeff Brohm led Louisville as a quarterback for four years before making the jump to the NFL in 1994 with the San Diego Chargers, who played in Super Bowl XXIX. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1995-97, where he was the backup quarterback to Hall of Famer Steve Young in 1997. In all, Brohm played eight seasons in the NFL.
Nick Holt comes to WKU as the defensive coordinator owning a national championship, while coaching in five BCS bowl games during a career that has included coaching stops at Louisville, Southern California and Washington, among others. Holt has 10 years of experience as a defensive coordinator, including three seasons as the coordinator at USC, and three more seasons as the defensive coordinator at Washington. Holt won a national championship alongside Pete Carroll at USC as the linebackers coach in 2003.
“Nick is now another guy on our staff that has a national championship ring on his finger and has experience at all levels of coaching,” Petrino said. “He is a great motivator and is a very enthusiastic, high-energy guy that will add a lot of excitement and toughness to our defense moving forward.”
Holt spent the 2012 season at Arkansas after three years as the defensive coordinator at Washington from 2009-11. Before that he was defensive coordinator at Southern California from 2006-08 and the head coach at Idaho from 2004-05. Holt worked at Idaho from 1990-94, serving as the Vandals' defensive coordinator in 1994 and for three more seasons through 1997 before moving to Louisville to be the defensive line coach from 1998-2000. From 2001-03 he was the linebackers coach at USC and helped the Trojans win the 2003 national championship.
During Holt's time at USC, he helped lead the Trojans to their NCAA-record seventh straight 11-win season, a seventh consecutive Pac-10 title and seventh straight BCS bowl berth as the defensive coordinator in 2008. USC ended the season by beating Penn State for an unprecedented third straight Rose Bowl victory. The 2008 Trojans led the NCAA in scoring defense at 9.00 points per game, holding eight opponents to seven points or less and posting three shutouts, pass defense with 134.38 yards per game allowed and in pass efficiency defense with a 85.75 rating while ranking second in the country by allowing 221.77 yards of total offense per game, which was the lowest total by a Pac-10 school since 1971.
In 2006, Holt's first season as the Trojans' defensive coordinator, they ranked 20th in the nation in total defense, 11th in scoring defense and tied for ninth in rushing defense after ranking 48th in the nation in total defense and 35th in scoring defense in 2005. In 2007, USC ranked second in the country in total and scoring defense and was fourth in the nation in rush defense and sixth in pass efficiency defense.
Holt's pupils, including linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, have earned an impressive number of accolades. Tatupu was an All-American in 2004 and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Tatupu has earned Pro Bowl selections, an All-Pro selection and was named to Seattle's 35th Anniversary Team. Ellis was an All-American in 2006 and 2007, the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, a two-time Morris Trophy Winner and the seventh overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Ellis was the fourth player coached by Holt to earn their conference's Defensive Player of the Year award.
As a player, Holt was a four-year letterman at linebacker at the University of the Pacific and earned honorable-mention All-America honors in 1985, when he was the Tigers' MVP and team captain.
In all, the nine WKU assistant coaches hired by Bobby Petrino boast over 130 years of collegiate coaching experience, while coaching in 30 bowl games, including 10 BCS bowl games and one national championship. As players, the nine assistant coaches played in 12 bowl games, won a pair of national championships and have 19 years of NFL playing experience. The assistants will begin immediately at WKU.
2013 WKU Coaching Staff by the Numbers:
• Over 160 years of combined coaching experience
• 37 bowl game appearances
• 12 BCS bowl game appearances
• 3 national championships
• 19 years of NFL playing experience
• 3 former NFL players