Purdue coach Jeff Brohm tests positive for COVID-19, unlikely to coach vs. Iowa

Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The school announced the positive test in a news release and said that Brohm’s “presumed positive” result came via an antigen test on Sunday morning. The school then was able to confirm Brohm’s positive result via a PCR test later Sunday.

Purdue, like every Big Ten program, tests daily as it embarks on a season with eight games over the next eight weeks.

Brohm informed his coaching staff and team of the positive result Sunday afternoon. Brohm is in isolation at his home, will coach remotely throughout the week and is unlikely to coach Purdue in its scheduled opener against Iowa at home on Saturday.

“It's looking like that probably won't happen,” Brohm told reporters on Monday. “I'm not going to give up hope on any of that. But following the guidelines set forth, I don't think I'll be able to do that.”

Brohm said he is unsure how he contracted the virus and has exhibited symptoms in recent days, including fatigue, body aches and chest tightness.

"For a few days before the positive test, I was abnormally tired and exhausted, and I just thought that I was tired from work," Brohm said. "I didn't really know for sure what was happening, but it really wasn't until Saturday that it started to kick in. That’s when the cold chills, the sweating, the body aches, a little bit of chest tightness — really all of the symptoms that you hear about — took place. And I knew I was probably not in good shape right then and probably would have a positive test the next day and I did."

Brohm’s brother Brian, the team’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, will serve as acting head coach on Saturday against the Hawkeyes.

Brohm must isolate for 10 days

While the head football coach tested positive, Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski said Monday that none of the school’s athletes have tested positive since the Big Ten’s daily testing procedures were instituted late last month, beginning Sept. 30.

While Big Ten athletes who test positive are required to be held out for 21 days, coaches follow CDC guidelines that call for 10 days of isolation. After those 10 days, the coach can return if they have been symptom-free for 24 hours. Should Brohm be symptom-free after those 10 days, he will be able to coach in the Boilermakers’ second game: at Illinois on Oct. 31.

Brohm is the latest FBS coach to have COVID-19. Florida’s Dan Mullen announced he was positive for the virus on Saturday. The other coaches to test positive are Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin, Kansas’ Les Miles, UCLA’s Chip Kelly, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, Arkansas State’s Blake Anderson and Toledo’s Jason Candle.

Alabama coach Nick Saban tested positive last week, but that result was deemed to be a false positive after Saban tested negative for three straight days. Those negative tests allowed Saban to coach Saturday night’s game against Georgia.

Jeff Brohm wearing a headset watches the game from the sideline.
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm during the second half of against TCU in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Sept. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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