Brohm set to take reins of offense
CHAMPAIGN — Paul Petrino had a job offer from Arkansas. One he didn't think he could refuse. Or wait to take.
"I know every situation is different," Illinois interim coach Vic Koenning said. "I think they wanted Paul to go recruit.
"When you recruit at the level of an Arkansas and you're recruiting the top players in the country, then you've got to do what you've got to do."
While Petrino was packing to rejoin his brother Bobby on Tuesday, Jeff Brohm was calmly running the Illinois offense.
"Coach Brohm will add to his role," Koenning said. "The other offensive coaches will pull up some slack."
Brohm has plenty of experience calling plays. The seven-year NFL quarterback is the former offensive coordinator at Louisville, his alma mater.
"He's done it his whole life," Koenning said. "He was born a coach's son, brought up a coach's son and when he dies he'll be a coach's son."
Don't expect a wholesale change of the Illinois offense. No wishbone. No veer. The plays will look like they have for the two seasons Brohm worked with Petrino at Illinois.
"We're just going to go out there, play hard and try to win, make it fun for our guys," Brohm said. "They worked hard all year. Obviously, it ended in disappointment, but we've got one game left and hopefully we can end on a good note."
Koenning wasn't surprised one of the Illinois coaches had to leave before the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
"It was going to happen," Koenning said. "He just happened to be the one who had the first opportunity. A few guys have got things that they're being really classy about and holding onto until the bowl procedure. I'm very appreciative of those guys for doing that."
Koenning said his biggest concern besides bowl preparations is making sure the assistants have jobs.
"You worry about those around you and those that you shared a lot with," Koenning said.
Koenning said he isn't sure that all of the players will be with the Illini for the bowl game. Some have academic issues to clean up before they get on the plane for San Francisco.
The team has Wednesday off before resuming workouts Thursday.
"It will be a full-padded-type practice," Koenning said. "We changed the format a little bit at practice, something I've been wanting to do for a while."
Koenning plans practices Friday and Saturday.