Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm confirms positive coronavirus test, will miss opener

Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm confirmed Monday he had a positive COVID-19 test and will follow CDC and Big Ten guidelines and self-isolate for 10 days.

Brohm is the first Big Ten head coach to publicly announce a positive diagnosis, his test results coming just days before the conference is scheduled to start its season.

Purdue hosts Iowa on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, kicking off a Big Ten schedule that will attempt to play eight games in eight weeks, with no flexibility to adjust for coronavirus disruptions like postponements or cancellations.

Brohm said there has been no talk of canceling or postponing the game and that offensive coordinator Brian Brohm will be acting head coach while also calling the plays.

Unlike Big Ten student-athletes, who have to self-isolate for 21 days following a positive test, conference administrators and coaches agreed that the CDC guidelines were appropriate for coaches.

"Unfortunately it got me," he said. "Now I have to recuperate as fast as I can."

Brohm, who will continue to coach remotely throughout the week, declined to give specifics about the scope of contact tracing of individuals who might have interacted with him and how it might impact Saturday's game.

Brohm couldn't say for certain how he became infected but conceded there was somebody in his family who also tested positive. He said he immediately self-isolated but recognized he had symptoms on Saturday.

"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, and the cold chills, body aches, a little bit of sweating, the chest tightness -- really all of the symptoms you hear about -- took place, and I knew I was not in good shape quite then and probably would have a positive test the next day and did."

Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski said the school began its daily antigen testing on Sept. 30, per the Big Ten's protocols, and no student-athletes have tested positive during that span. He also said there have been zero false positives, and any positive test has been confirmed with a PCR test.

Unlike the SEC, the Big Ten does not have a policy that would allow coaches who have three negative PCR tests, each 24 hours apart, to leave isolation and rejoin team activities.

"We're very confident in the system and the protocol and believe it will get us the right results," Bobinski said. "At the end of the day, we don't want to put anybody out there who's positive. Erring on the side of safety at this point is the right way to go."