Purdue’s Athletic Director Mike Bobinski held a press conference Thursday to address the departure of head coach Jeff Brohm and the upcoming search for a new head coach.
Bobinski officially named co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Brian Brohm as interim head coach for the upcoming Cheez-it Citrus Bowl against LSU.
“If his name wasn't Brohm, it wouldn’t be unusual at all,” Bobinski said. “Obviously, his name is Brohm, so it can create a bit of a head-scratcher for folks.”
Co-defensive coordinator Ron English, wide receiver coach Garrick McGee and running back coach Chris Barclay are all departing for Louisville immediately.
Defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Mark Hagen will call plays for the bowl game.
Mark Hagen has been instrumental to Purdue’s recent recruiting efforts and the production of its defensive line, which most recently sent George Karlaftis to the NFL.
“We appreciate what Mark does. His players play hard for him,” Bobinski said. “He's a bulldog of a recruiter. He fits (Purdue) in lots of good ways. I would be all for him being part of our program going forward, and I think he shared that sentiment.”
Although Purdue Athletics just officially began the search for a new coaching candidate, it’s not something that blind-sided the program.
“That is not something that we are caught flat-footed by. While we did not want this to happen, nor did we honestly anticipate that it was going to happen, we've been quietly preparing for some time in the event it did happen,” Bobinski said. “So we were ready to move into action. We are in motion already.”
He said the criteria of the job has not changed, but the candidate pool has improved.
“I think we’ll be able to attract the interest of folks that maybe across the board, (are part of) a deeper and higher quality pool than perhaps we were able to get in 2016,” Bobinski said, “(in which) we had really good people.”
While there’s no doubt that Purdue’s offense has been a factor in the program’s historical success, Bobinski said it’s not a requirement for the next coach.
“We certainly appreciate that that's been part of our success, having a little bit of a wrinkle offensively that sets us apart and makes us hard to prepare for, so that's not a bad thing,” Bobinski said. “At the end of the day, if we can land in a similar place, that's great. But more importantly, is a football coach that's going to find a way for us to win and whatever that might take.”