(Photo by WVU Athletics)
Heading into his fifth season in Morgantown, it’s no secret that Neal Brown’s seat is scorching hot. The former Troy head coach has accumulated a record of 22-25 during his time with the Mountaineers. Fans all across the Mountain State have been calling for his job, and rightfully so.
Though things have quickly come undone, he will have the opportunity to turn things around. If Brown would like to get this thing started off on the right track, he must begin to swing the narrative now as the Mountaineers approach spring camp.
One characteristic of Brown that has become apparent is his optimism. Even last season when the team was in the midst of a near collapse, he still remained as positive as he could be. During the offseason, his “coach’s talk” will either have you ready to run through a wall or roll your eyes. Once he steps up to the podium this April, it would be a shock if he portrays brute honesty about the 2023 team.
However, if Brown wants to keep the small amount of fans still in his corner there, that may just be the approach he has to take. This does not mean he has to be negative, but if there is an area that the team is clearly lacking in then let the fans know.
Don’t spend the majority of your time telling fans things are fine when they clearly aren’t. Should Brown continue to exaggerate the skill of the Mountaineers, what credibility he has has left in West Virginia will be gone. Fans, alumni, donors, and even casual spectators will likely at that point be ready to move on – if they haven’t reached that point already.
No, coming out and saying that the team isn’t in a stable place to compete will not save his job. Nothing but a winning season will do that. Being straightforward will instead set the expectations of the fans going into 2023. It will alleviate some disappointment and lessen the blow of what could possibly be the worst season in over two decades. Mountaineer Nation, who is one of the most loyal fanbases in collegiate sports, deserves that much.
West Virginia begins spring camp on Tuesday. The five week camp will conclude on April 22nd with the Gold-Blue Spring Game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and fans can purchase their tickets on WVUGame.com.
𝙎𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘿𝙖𝙩𝙚 – April 22 🗓️
The annual #GOLDvsBLUE Spring Game presented by Encova is set
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— West Virginia Football (@WVUfootball) February 9, 2023