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Morgantown, West Virginia – Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops’ name has come up for multiple coaching vacancies – including Florida and LSU – and there’s a very good chance that he leaves Kentucky before next season.

Stoops responded to the reports earlier this week by saying, “I have no control over that. I don’t want that out there. I don’t want that distraction,” and added that he’s been “nothing but committed” to building Kentucky’s program.

If Stoops does in fact leave, Neal Brown’s dream job would suddenly be available.

When Brown became the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, he cited his “Appalachian roots” and “only being four hours from his home in Danville, Kentucky” as two of his primary reasons for coming to Morgantown.  Although West Virginia and Kentucky share similar views and ways of life, West Virginia is not home for Neal Brown.  Kentucky is home for Neal Brown.

Whether Brown leaves now or in the future, Kentucky is his ideal final destination.  Brown would be a fool to not consider Kentucky.  Kentucky plays in the SEC, has donor money galore, he’s played there, he’s coached there, Kentucky is his home.  Unless Brown is truly only here in Morgantown to rebuild the football program, making more money in a better football conference in his home state makes all the sense in the world.

Now the issue is whether Kentucky would actually want Neal Brown.  Brown, who is 16-17 in his third season at West Virginia, is no longer the highly-coveted coach that he was when he was ultra-successful in the Sun Belt Conference at Troy.  At 41, Brown is still very young, but he’s also not unblemished.
Still, Brown has proven that he can be successful at building a culture and a football program, and is a home-grown man that likely dreams of returning home to leave his home state in the best conference in college football.
While it’s anyone’s guess whether Kentucky would actually pursue Brown, this particular opening would be hard for him to pass up on if/when it comes available.

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