When Aaron Jackson signed on to play football at Western Kentucky University, he knew he probably wouldn’t have the same head coach all four years
He was right.
Jackson, a true freshman wide receiver for the Hilltoppers this past season after graduating from Frankfort High School, wasn’t at all shocked when it was announced head coach Bobby Petrino would be leaving after one season for a second stint as the head coach at Louisville.
“At first I kind of had a feeling that he wouldn’t be there too long. I knew that kind of going in,” Jackson said, adding that he and his teammates found out about Petrino’s departure via the Internet.
“I learned a lot from him. He was a good coach. He was kind of hard, but that’s any coach.”
And when it came to the hiring of the new WKU coach, Jeff Brohm, Jackson wasn’t surprised either.
“I kind of figured that he would (take over) because he’s been working under Petrino,” Jackson said. “I think he’s ready to be a head coach.”
Brohm spent his first season at WKU as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His offense broke 18 single-season records, helping the team to an 8-4 record.
Brohm, a Louisville native who played quarterback at U of L, spent time in the NFL before coaching at Louisville (with Petrino), Florida Atlantic, Illinois, UAB and this past year at WKU. This will be his first job as a head coach.
Jackson feels there’s an advantage to having Brohm take over — at least for him.
“He recruited me so he obviously wanted me there,” Jackson said. “He recruited me out of high school so that kind of helps the relationship.”
Brohm didn’t get to see much of the player he recruited this past season. In Jackson’s senior season at Frankfort, he totaled 1,513 yards and 18 touchdowns to help lead his team to an 11-2 record. He received many postseason accolades, including honorable mention All-State honors.
But as a freshman for the Hilltoppers, Jackson appeared in just three games, catching six balls for 20 yards. This next season, he plans on having a chance to show off those skills that Brohm saw when he recruited him.
“I played off and on. I think it was mostly my fault why I didn’t play as much, but I think next year I’ll play as much as I put myself in position to play,” Jackson said. “Basically the spot is there for me to play and for me to start, I just have to step up to the plate and take it.”