Comparing Rich Rodriguez, Bill Stewart, Dana Holgorsen and Neal Brown Through 36 Games at WVU

Morgantown, West Virginia – Expectations at West Virginia have certainly declined over the years.

When Rich Rodriguez was the head coach of the Mountaineers, he took the program to unprecedented heights, finishing 11-1, 11-2 and 10-2 (32-5) in his final three seasons in Morgantown.

When Bill Stewart took over after Rodriguez bolted to Michigan, he was 28-12 in three full seasons before being replaced by Dana Holgorsen.

Holgorsen, a first-time head coach, went 10-3 in his first season, 7-6 in his second season and then 4-8 (21-15) in his 3rd season with the Mountaineers.

Although Rodriguez and Stewart coached in a less difficult conference, the Big East, Holgorsen’s team played his second and third seasons in the same conference as Neal Brown, who has started his career at West Virginia with a 17-19 record.

West Virginia seems to have really lowered expectations during Brown’s tenure. The continued trust the climb must yield results at some point.

To be clear, an under .500 record is unacceptable for West Virginia, regardless of the conference affiliation. While the Big 12 is certainly a more difficult, challenging league than the old Big East was, it’s the duty of the people in charge at West Virginia to adapt and make the Mountaineers winners no matter what conference they play in.

West Virginia fans make a lot of excuses for Neal Brown. He inherited a difficult situation. Holgorsen left the cupboard bare. He was dealing with COVID. The Big 12 is a challenging conference. 

None of that matters, though. It is Neal Brown’s job to make the West Virginia Mountaineers a winner and if he can’t do it, it’s Shane Lyons’ job to find and hire someone who can.

West Virginia was a winner under Rich Rodriguez, Bill Stewart and Dana Holgorsen, but has become a program full of excuses and failures under Neal Brown.

Although the Big 12 is difficult and he didn’t inherit a perfect situation and he dealt with COVID, Neal Brown lost a lot of close games that he could’ve/should’ve won and there are absolutely no good excuses for West Virginia being 17-19 under him.