Neal Brown Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Head Coach

Despite a 22-25 record at West Virginia, Neal Brown might still be the answer for the Mountaineers if he makes the right adjustments.  

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Neal Brown isn’t necessarily a bad head coach. It’s his stubbornness that has been the real issue at West Virginia. His inability to make obvious changes – terms of personnel or schemes – has hurt him the most at West Virginia University.

Brown, who had a successful run at Troy, felt – and likely still feels – that if he just does what he did at Troy, that he will ultimately win big at West Virginia. This of course isn’t likely. Troy and West Virginia are two very different animals and it’s clear that he will have to do things differently here than he did there.

That’s where the problem lies with Brown. West Virginia’s failures over the last 4 years was not caused primarily by NIL or the transfer portal or COVID or what he was left with after Dana Holgorsen left the program. The failure has been caused by Neal Brown’s stubborn nature and his absolute unwillingness to adapt and make very obvious changes.

Unwillingness to adapt 

Brown has time and time again proven that he is unwilling, or unable, to make the necessary changes to win games. Jarrett Doege was clearly not the answer at quarterback and yet, Brown played him two years too long. The offensive scheme that he used at Troy and at previous stops as an offensive coordinator clearly wasn’t working during the first two seasons, yet Brown continued to run the same plays in Years 3 and 4.


Being a good leader means being decisive and making big, tough decisions for the betterment of the larger whole. Brown hasn’t made any noticeable changes since becoming the head coach of the Mountaineers. He continues to do the same thing and hope for a different result.


Brown believes that what he’s doing is right and outside circumstances have caused him to fail so far at West Virginia. Rather than look within and make obvious changes, Brown continues to double-down on his original decisions. Brown has not made any changes to his coaching staff. Brown will once again have a major role in play-calling. Neal Brown believes Neal Brown knows what he’s doing and that it will eventually work out for him.

If Brown can put his ego aside, he can be really successful at West Virginia. He still somehow has the support of a large portion of the state and the university, and winning cures all. However, Brown must be willing to develop into a truly good leader, who is capable of adjusting, making decisive decisions that will make the program better and being more open to real change.