When the Gophers take the Ross-Ade Stadium field Saturday, coach P.J. Fleck will have a lot of fans behind him, but one will stand out in particular.
He’s the opposing coach’s son.
Twelve-year-old Brady Brohm, son of Purdue coach Jeff Brohm, has been a fan of Fleck’s since last year, when the Gophers coach was at Western Michigan.
“Brady Brohm started reaching out to me a year ago, because he wants to be a coach. He said he loves what we’re doing — row the boat,” Fleck said. “I just kept hitting him back with little things, signed a bunch of stuff for him. He asked if he could come around and see things. I saw him at the [coaches] convention, saw him at Big Ten media days.”
During the Big Ten event in Chicago in July, Fleck and Jeff Brohm discussed Brady’s coaching aspirations.
“Here’s Coach Brohm and I hanging around, and he says, ‘Listen, I have a son who wants to row the boat. That will probably be a problem once we get to playing each other,’ ” Fleck said. “But it was funny, because he knows he wants to be a coach, and one thing Coach Brohm said is he wants to learn from as many coaches as he can at this young age.”
Brady even has an unofficial coaching job with the Boilermakers. He is the team’s “get back” coach, making sure players don’t encroach on the field after big plays.
Fleck is impressed with both Brohms, calling Jeff “one of the best offensive minds in the country.”
Fleck doesn’t worry that the elder Coach Brohm will glean inside information about the Gophers from the younger Coach Brohm.
“I highly doubt [Brady] is Coach Brohm’s inside source,” Fleck said, laughing. “We give enough information, but not enough to be dangerous.”