Morgantown, West Virginia Trust the Climb… just trust it… no matter how hard it may seem, just trust the climb. That is the statement that West Virginia fans have heard ever since Neal Brown came to Morgantown, but exactly how can fans do that? What does it mean to “Trust the Climb”?
Well, in the grand scheme of things, it means to have faith in what Head Coach Neal Brown is trying to accomplish at West Virginia. The process involves “progression” which means each year we should be seeing an upward trend in the program. Granted, there are many things that go into building a winning program, and it takes time to put all those pieces together, however, in today’s college football world, it is all about “what have you done for me lately”.
Neal Brown’s salary originally was $3.2 million, however last year in 2021 WVU Athletic Director, Shane Lyons decided to sign Brown to a 2-year extension through 2026 bringing his salary upwards to $3.98 million with incentives. Typically, coaches will get an extension and a raise for good performance, however this does not seem to be the case. This one had many Mountaineer fans scratching their heads after two years of underperforming.
To date, we have yet to see a return on investment for Browns $3.98 million dollar salary. Coaches such as University of Cincinnati Head Coach Luke Fickell and University of Houston Head Coach Dana Holgorsen have both made solid progress in very little time with their programs with both finishing in the top 25 last year and entering 2022 ranked in the pre-season polls.
If WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons believes our program is going in the right direction, then I would certainly like for him to explain where these strides are being made. Why sugar coat it? Mountaineer fans deserve much better as we spend a massive amount of money for tickets, apparel, refreshments, lodging, gas, and donations. It is time to put a product on the field that is exciting and competitive in the Big 12.
It is also time for our fans to see a return on their investment that translates to more than 6 wins. Why are we giving contract extensions and raises after losing seasons? “Trusting the Climb” is about the progress that translates to wins! The 2022 season is upon us, and the road ahead is filled with very tough opponents. If Neal Brown and company lay another egg this season, will Shane Lyons retract his statement and hold Brown accountable? Will you continue to “Trust the Climb”? We will certainly find out where we stand as a program when we roll into Pittsburgh on Sept. 1st.
As Rod Tidwell said to Jerry Maguire, “Show me the Money”
Enjoy your Weekend!