Category: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers' quarterback Brian Brohm runs in a touchdown during second half CFL football action in against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press via AP

Western Kentucky gets Brian Brohm’s coaching career started


Louisville legend Brian Brohm is heading back to Kentucky. Western Kentucky has added the former Cardinals quarterback to the coaching staff, the school announced Monday. Brohm will take on the role of quarterbacks coach with the Hilltoppers, his first coaching job. Of course, WKU head coach Jeff Brohm is the older brother to the new assistant coach. WKU Director of Football Operations Greg Brohm is also one of Brian Brohm’s older brothers.

Brian Brohm is now one of three former college quarterbacks on the staff for Western Kentucky. Both Brohm brothers on the coaching staff have quarterback experience, as does Bryan Ellis, who is being moved from coaching running backs to wide receivers.

Brohm was a former Conference USA Player of the Year in 2005 and Orange Bowl MVP in 2007 with Louisville. He later was a second-round NFL draft pick of the Green Bay Packers but the Packers had Aaron Rodger in place, so Brohm ended up on the practice squad. The Buffalo Bills signed Brohm in 2009 and he entered free agency at the end of the season. That took Brohm to the one-year experiment that was the United Football League with the Las Vegas Locomotives. Brohm then spent the past three seasons in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Before getting to Louisville, Brohm was a three-time state champion at Trinity High School in Louisville, earning MVP honors in all three games. It goes without saying Brohm is a big name in the state of Louisville.

Perhaps returning home to his roots will be refreshing.

Ex-Houston coach Tony Levine reportedly finds new home at WKU

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 11:  Head coach Tony Levine of the Houston Cougars during a game against the BYU Cougars on September 11, 2014 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Jay Drowns/Getty Images)
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Former Houston coach Tony Levine — the guy who was fired after winning 21 games in three years and replaced by Tom Herman — will join Western Kentucky’s staff as an offensive assistant, according to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman.

Levine was fired in December 2014 after coaching Houston to a 7-5 season, but the general feeling around the program appeared to be that he wasn’t keeping it on the same upward trajectory forged by Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin before him. There was some staff instability — he fired offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt two days into the 2012 season — as well as a few embarrassing losses for a program trying to assure its foothold in the ultra-competitive football state of Texas.

At Western Kentucky, Levine will work under third-year-coach-to-be Jeff Brohm, who just steered the Hilltoppers to a 12-2 season. Not only has Western Kentucky made back-to-back bowl games for the first time in program history under Brohm, they’ve won both of them. While Levine’s tenure at Houston ended abruptly, he still took the Cougars to two bowl games and should be a nice addition to a coaching staff that has to deal with plenty of personnel turnover from last season.

Gone is 5,000-yard quarterback Brandon Doughty, as well as the team’s third-, fourth- and fifth-leading pass-catchers in receiver Jared Dangerfield (82 REC, 844 yards, 8 TDs), receiver Antwane Grant (55 REC, 701 yards, 7 TDs) and tight end Tyler Higbee (38 REC, 563 yards, 8 TDs).

Mike Leach adds WKU’s JaMarcus Shephard to Wazzu staff

PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 10:  Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars on the sidelines early in the fourth quarter as the Cougars trail the UCLA Bruins 21- 44 at Martin Stadium on November 10, 2012 in Pullman, Washington.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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A couple of weeks after losing one of his assistants to a rival Pac-12 school, Mike Leach has found a replacement.

JaMarcus Shephard, Washington State announced in a press release, has been added by Leach to coach the Cougars’ inside receivers.  Shephard will replace Dave Yost, who left earlier this month to become the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Oregon.

“JaMarcus is a tremendous coach and will fit nicely within our program,” said Leach. “He has great passion for coaching and recruiting, is familiar with how we attack from an offensive standpoint, and believes strongly in not only improving every day on the field but also in the classroom.”

Shephard spent the past five seasons at Western Kentucky. The first three seasons he spent as a defensive analyst, offensive quality control assistant and volunteer assistant. He was promoted to receivers coach in 2014, where he spent the past two seasons with the Hilltoppers.

That was Shepard’s first coaching job at the collegiate level.

USF adds Michigan staffer T.J. Weist as WRs coach

EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 08:  Head coach T.J. Weist of the Connecticut Huskies yells from the sideline against the Louisville Cardinals at Rentschler Field during the game on November 8, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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Following up on speculation that’s been gaining steam over the past few days, Willie Taggart has officially added a Michigan staffer to his USF coaching staff.

In a press release, Taggart confirmed that T.J. Weist has been hired as his new wide receivers coach.  Weist replaces Ron Dugan, who left for the same position at Miami as part of Mark Richt‘s new Hurricanes staff.

“I’ve always said, we are going to keep getting better and Coach Weist fits that bill,” Taggart said. “I’m very excited to bring somebody to our program that I know so well and that has had the experience and the success T.J. Weist has in college football. Our offense set several records in 2015, and I can’t wait to get started working on breaking them.”

Weist and Taggart have a previous working relationship, first with both being on Jack Harbaugh‘s staff at Western Kentucky — Taggart was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Weist receivers and running backs coach. The two worked together for six years with the Hilltoppers.

From 2010-12, Wweist was the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Cincinnati. He was UConn’s coordinator in 2013 and 2014, and also served as the Huskies interim head coach after Paul Pasqualoni was fired in September of 2013.

In 2015, Weist worked as Jim Harbaugh‘s senior offensive analyst with the Wolverines.

“I am very excited to coach again with Coach Taggart and to join in a program in USF that has a very exciting future ahead of it,” Weist said. “I saw what that offense did, particularly at the end of last season, and the players coming back and I am very excited to get to work in Tampa.”

Western Kentucky lands a second Louisville LB transfer

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Tuesday, Western Kentucky added grad transfer Keith Brown to its roster. Two days later, the Cardinals’ linebacker pipeline has provided yet another roster addition.

Nick Dawson-Brents told the Bowling Green Daily News that he will be following his former teammate to WKY and continue his collegiate playing career with the Hilltoppers. Like his grad transferring fellow linebacker, Dawson-Brents will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

This upcoming season will be the final year of eligibility for both players.

“The environment and the people – the coaches – it was a really great experience,” Dawson-Brents said when asked why he chose WKU as his transfer destination. “I really felt like they were genuine. I’m just ready to accept the challenge they gave me. I’m all in. I’m ready to get there and start pursuing my dream again.”

Dawson-Brents, who played in 13 games for the Cardinals last season, told the Daily News that he believes he will be moving from linebacker to defensive end with the Hilltoppers.

Dawson-Brents and Brown are actually one of three former UofL players who will suit up for WKU in 2016. In December of this past year, Tyler Ferguson transferred into the WKU football program. Because the quarterback left the Cardinals in August of 2015 and didn’t play at all this past season, he’ll be eligible to play this season.