Here we are ladies and gentlemen – day five of the WKU spring football preview. Over the past week we have previewed the 2014 WKU football team leading into the annual Red and White Spring game. So far we have covered the secondary, defensive line, linebackers, offensive line, tight ends, wide recievers, quarterbacks and running backs. Today we will wrap up with a preview of the new 2014 Coaching Staff lead by first year Head Coach Jeff Brohm - HERE WE GO!
With the exit of Bobby Petrino to Louisville, Western Kentucky’s athletic department, headed by Athletic Director Todd Stewart and University President Gary Ransdell, was forced to replace the offensive mastermind with a worthy candidate. After spending some time weighing their options, offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm was named the 14th head coach of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football program. Brohm had been an assistant under Petrino for multiple season while Petrino was at Arkansas and also played for Bobby P at Louisville. Brohm played 7 years of professional football, spanning the NFL and XFL, and was also a prospect in the Cleveland Indians minor league system.
As an assistant at Illinois, Brohm molded Nathan Scheelhaase as one of the Big Ten’s most proficient double threat QB’s. Brohm, as assistant offensive coordinator under Petrino, helped QB Brandon Doughty break multiple WKU records and lead the Tops to second in the Sun Belt in total yards per game. Out of all the replacements in the world, the Tops are in good hands under Jeff Brohm.
The number two man in Brohm’s regime is Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt. Holt was a head coach at Idaho for one season before returning to USC for two season to serve as defensive coordinator. In 2009, Holt bolted with Steve Sarkisian for Washington until 2012, when Petrino invited him to Arkansas. The year following coach Holt was called to be Defensive Coordinator at WKU, and remains on Brohm’s staff for 2014.
Holt piloted a WKU defense that was one of the best in the nation (14th) in overall defense and had a secondary team in the top ten (10) in the nation in pass defense. Holt managed to prepare WKU for two spread option teams in Army and Navy and defeated both of them (and, even more impresively, the Army win came in West Point). Holt is a driven assistant coach who plans to have his defense as dominant as they were last year.
The man teaming up with Jeff Brohm to run the offense is Offensive Coordinator Tyson Helton. Helton Played Quarterback at the University of Houston from 1996-1999, and was special teams coordinator and managed the tight ends at Cincinnati for the 2013 season. Before that, he controlled the quarterbacks at soon to be WKU C-USA opponent UAB for six seasons. Heltons experience around the country will help the WKU offense grow and definitely help Doughty in his control and placement of the football.
Rounding out the 2014 WKU coaching staff are a handful of position coaches. Those returning to WKU are Secondary Coach Mike Cassity. Cassidy lead the 2013 corners and safety to the 10th ranked pass D in the country. Don Dunn will take on a heavy task as he has to teach a young interior defensive line. Ricky Brumfield returns as well to coach the corners and special teams. Neil Callaway will work with an experienced O-line getting them ready to block for a new running back corps. The last returner to WKU but new to the coaching ranks is wide receivers coach Jamarcus Shephard. Shephard will have a talented group of young men eager to help the WKU offense reach their max potential. The two new comers to the Hill are D-ends coach Ken Delgado and running backs coach Greg Nord. Delgado comes from Eastern Michigan where he had the same title and Nord from UK where he coached running backs as well.
This years WKU football team is in great hands as they transition into a brand new era. The Hilltoppers will grow on offense in a pass efficient scheme that also likes to play a little smash mouth football. For the Defense… they will play some suffocating football and walk with a little swagger. This team is ready to explode as they are… The Brohm Squad.
Thank you very much for taking time out of your day and week to visit Wave The Red Towel and get to know your 2014 WKU Hilltoppers. The Annual Red and White Spring Game will take place at Houchins Industries L. T. Smith Stadium tomorrow Saturday April 19th at 1pm… GO TOPS!