Western Kentucky University football coach Jeff Brohm talked Wednesday about how the power of prayer and his faith and belief in the Lord have helped him on his journey.

Brohm was the speaker for the 22nd annual Bowling Green Area Prayer Breakfast at the National Corvette Museum.

He spoke of his background in the Catholic church and his experiences playing football for Trinity High School in Louisville. Even if he didn't play any sports, he said he wouldn't trade his four years there for anything.

"One of the great things ... when I was in high school that separated my high school ... compared to others is the power of our faith," he said. "Our football team would gather together in a chapel before every game. ... It was 20 minutes of talking about the Lord, talking about things that brought our team together ... and those 20 minutes before every game were probably the most 20 special minutes ... that I ever experienced."

Brohm recently led the Hilltoppers to their first national ranking, first Football Bowl Subdivision conference title and first double-digit win total since moving to the FBS seven years ago. Under Brohm, the Hilltoppers have won consecutive bowl games in the 2015 Miami Beach Bowl and 2014 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl. He is the first head coach in program history to win 20 games over his first two years.

"One of the things I've always learned along the way is it's important to pray," Brohm said. "A lot of times the best players at every level in sports are people of great faith, and they understand the purpose, the meaning and the reason why they're here and that's something, right under the X's and O's, you learn how to win ballgames. It's important to learn what makes people tick and the reason behind everything. So, that was very special for me."

State Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, was master of ceremonies for the event and said prayer is vitally important, particularly for a community that loves to get together. He gave a brief history of the event and announced that former Mayor Johnny D. Webb, who established the program in 1993, was in attendance at this year's event.

"I embraced the idea of starting a prayer breakfast," Webb said. "I thought it was a wonderful thing, something that we really needed to do, and I'm proud of the fact that it's continued on and it's become a tradition here in our community."

"American Idol" season 13 contestant Brandy Neelly of Louisville sang three songs at the event centered on remembrance of people that have passed, faith and how everyone has a story and how everyone lives their story out every single day for God.

Christy Thomas, museum finance and human resource director, said it is a wonderful thing and invigorating to have the ability to share the word of God without fear of reprisal. Thomas said one of her favorite parts of the event was Brohm's speech.

"Coach Brohm's message and how he conveys that to the team and to know that they have that spiritual side and they truly are growing these kids," Thomas said.

— Follow faith/general assignments reporter Simone C. Payne on Twitter @_SimonePayne or visit bgdailynews.com.


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