Neal Brown Earned My Respect Today

Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Morgantown, West Virginia – It’s not easy to be Neal Brown right now. The West Virginia Mountaineers have failed in ways this season that he probably didn’t think imaginable prior to the start of the season. Brown has a very important job with a ton of pressure and responsibility, and the success of the team means so much to the great people of our state.

With that, Brown has fairly encountered disparagement and disapproval from virtually an entire state of football-obsessed fans. In the face of this incredible criticism, Brown has showed poise, character and, most importantly, toughness.

This was never more apparent than today when Brown met with the media to discuss the embarrassing loss at Iowa State and this weekend’s game against Oklahoma. Brown openly admitted that the losing has been hard on him, but that he refuses to show up to work and be negative. He has continued to remain positive during really tough times and continued to work to try to fix the problems with his team.

“I hate losing,” Brown said. “I hate it for all of the people in the building who are invested in this situation. I can handle the stuff about me, but losing is really hard. But I refuse to come into this building and be negative. I come in here every day preparing to win games. I refuse to accept failure.

When asked about how he’s handling the extreme criticism, Brown opened up about his personal life more than he ever has. “Yeah, it’s hard for my wife and my kids. I don’t take any of this stuff about me personally. The people on social media don’t know me. They are unhappy with the product on the field and that’s fair.”

Very well said. No one dislikes Neal Brown. We just don’t like the results.

While Brown has appeared weak at times during his career as the head coach of the Mountaineers, he showed incredible toughness and leadership, and for that, he earned my respect today.

(But he should still be fired). 

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith, "The Voice of Morgantown", is the most trusted, accomplished name in West Virginia sports journalism. Smith is the foremost, preeminent authority on West Virginia athletics and a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers. Smith, a proud graduate of West Virginia University, resides in Morgantown most of the year, but has a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives during the winter.