|This article does not cite any sources. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Bob Brodhead (December 20, 1936 – February 11, 1996) was an American gridiron football player, executive, and college athletics administrator. He was the athletic director at Louisiana State University (LSU) from 1982 to 1987. He is also the author of Sacked! The Dark Side of Sports at Louisiana State University (ISBN 0-9446790-0-5)
Brodhead attended Duke University where he played quarterback on the Duke Blue Devils football team. During that time he led the Blue Devils to the 1958 Orange Bowl and shared the quarterback position with Sonny Jurgensen.
Brodhead was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1958 but went on active duty in the armed services before being able to join the Browns. After his discharge, he played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1959, as backup to Don Allard. In 1960, he signed with the upstart Buffalo Bills of the fledgling American Football League (AFL). He played one season, in 1960, for the Bills, starting one game before having a brief stint with the CFLs' Edmonton Eskimos. In 1961, he embarked on a career in minor league football with the Canton Bulldogs and Cleveland Bulldogs in the United Football League and then, in 1965 and 1966 with the Philadelphia Bulldogs of the Continental Football League. He led the Bulldogs to the Continental Football League title in 1966 with a win over the Orlando Panthers, and then, at age 28, was named business manager of the Cleveland Browns.
Brodhead was elected to the Minor League Football Hall of Fame for his career with the Canton/Cleveland/Philadelphia Bulldogs.
Brodhead remained with the Browns until 1970, when he was named general manager of the Houston Oilers. He later became the CFO of the Miami Dolphins before heading to LSU as athletic director (AD) in 1981. His tenure at LSU was highly successful on the field and controversial off the field.
Brodhead hired baseball coach Skip Bertman, who revived the moribund program and took the Bayou Bengals to unprecedented heights, guiding LSU to five national championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000) and 11 trips to the College World Series in 18 seasons (1984-2001). Bertman became LSU's athletic director upon his retirement from the diamond, remaining in the position through June 2008.
In football, Brodhead controversially decided to fire popular coach Jerry Stovall, an All-American as a running back and safety at LSU in the early 1960s, following a 4-7 season in 1983. Brodhead replaced Stovall with Bill Arnsparger, the architect of the Miami Dolphins' "No-Name Defense" of the early 1970s. Arnsparger went 26-8-3 in three seasons and coached LSU to the 1986 SEC championship and two Sugar Bowl berths.
Another highly successful hire was that of women's basketball coach Sue Gunter, who stayed at LSU for 22 seasons, guiding the Lady Tigers to the NCAA tournament 14 times, including the Final Four in her final campaign of 2003-04.