An Off-the-Radar Candidate to Replace Neal Brown

(Photo by WVU Athletics) 


When the 2022 season concludes against Oklahoma State this Saturday, chances are the Mountaineers will be looking for a new coach. Should WVU lose, they would finish the campaign with a 4-8 record, and Neal Brown will be 21-26 for his tenure. That simply isn’t good enough for Mountaineer fans or the university.

While names like Hugh Freeze, Tony Gibson, Jamey Chadwell, and even Rich Rodriguez are being thrown around to potentially replace Brown, there is one coach in the Big 12 that could be a sneaky good hire. This assistant coach consistently fields the best defensive unit in the conference, and even has head coaching experience.

Who is this mystery coach? None other than Iowa State’s Jon Heacock.

Heacock has quietly turned the Cyclones into one of the best defenses in the nation. His unique style smothers opponents, and is built to counteract the high-powered offenses in the Big 12. With the Mountaineers having one of the worst defenses in the conference statistically, this would be a tremendous hire to get that unit going in the right direction.

Heacock spent time as the head coach of Youngstown State University, compiling a record told 60-44. This would make this hire not so much of a first-time head coaching project, but a first “big time” job project.


The Mountaineers need to shake some things up, so bringing in a coach with a unique scheme would be massive. It would be a change of pace from WVU’s previous head coaches, too. Steering away from offensive coaches and letting a defensive guy have a shot at the helm.

Heacock wouldn’t be the flashiest hire, but I wouldn’t hate it either. Something has to change in Morgantown, and it starts on the defensive side of the ball.