Odds to be West Virginia’s Head Coach Next Season

Morgantown, West Virginia – Prior to Shane Lyons being “forced to resign”, Neal Brown’s job status as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers was described by ESPN‘s Pete Thamel as “in flux.” Now, after Lyons’ dismissal, Brown’s seat went from being very hot to scorching!

Although West Virginia hasn’t named a director of athletics to replace Lyons and Neal Brown has not been fired yet, several head coaches have already been linked as possible replacements for Brown.

Here are the current favorites and their odds right now to be the head coach of the Mountaineers next season:

Tony Gibson – Many people feel that he should have been the choice when Dana Holgorsen left for Houston in 2018. An outstanding recruiter with major ties to the state and university, Gibson has been very successful as the defensive coordinator at NC State. Lots of smoke in the last week about the possibility of him returning home to lead the Mountaineers. +300 

Shawn Clark – Clark, 47, is a relatively young, up-and-coming head coach who has been successful at Appalachian State and has proven that he can upset the big boys. Oh, and he’s originally from Charleston, West Virginia. +300

Jamey Chadwell – Chadwell, 45, was the 2020 AP College Football Coach of the Year. Over the past 3 seasons, Chadwell’s Coastal Carolina team has gone 31-4. +300 

Hugh Freeze – In his 10 years as a head coach, Freeze, 52, has been successful everywhere he’s been. He is 83-41 overall and 6-2 in bowl games during his time at Arkansas State, Ole Miss and now at Liberty. Liberty is 8-2 this season and upset BYU and Arkansas. Although he just signed a massive contract extension at Liberty, his contract buyout is only $2.5 million if he decides to leave for a Power 5 Conference program. In addition, he recently said that he would listen if a few schools in “small college towns in the mountains” expressed interest.  +350

Curt Cignetti – He has been ultra-successful as a head coach (38-7 at James Madison, 105-33 overall), was a former assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama and played quarterback at West Virginia University from 1979-1982. +400

Tom Herman – Herman, 47, is not currently coaching anywhere and would certainly consider an incredible opportunity at West Virginia University. In his six seasons as a head coach, Herman was nothing short of spectacular. His first head coaching position was at Houston, where he finished 22-4 overall in two seasons. He was then hired at Texas in 2017 and went 7-6, 10-4, 8-5 and 7-3 in his four seasons with the Longhorns. Also, he is 5-0 in his career in bowl games. +450

Jahmile Addae – Young (38 years old), passionate coach with a ton of respect in the coaching field. He was rated as the #2 recruiter in the nation last year and has incredible rapport with his players. The Mountaineers had one of the best defenses in the country when he was a co-defensive coordinator at West Virginia and he has been successful everywhere he’s gone. +450

Rich Rodriguez – In his final three seasons in Morgantown, the Mountaineers were 32-5 and reached unprecedented heights. He’s 8-2 at Jacksonville State and at 59 years old, he has a lot of coaching time left in his career and a lot of people want him back on the West Virginia sideline. +500

Neal Brown – 21-24 in his 4th season with the Mountaineers, it’s unlikely that a new director of athletics will keep Brown around. A new director of athletics will want to make an immediate splash with his own head football coach hire, but Brown does have a large contract buyout that gives him some chance to be back for another year. +500

Jimbo Fisher –  Although he is currently going through his worst season ever as a head coach, he won a national championship with Florida State, he’s 120-44 overall and 8-2 in bowl games during his career, and he loves his home state of West Virginia. His experience combined with success and love for the state makes him a home run hire if West Virginia could somehow pull it off. +500

Matt Rhule – The former Big 12 Coach of the Year (2019), Rhule showed that he was very capable of turning around a college program when he took a really bad Baylor team and turned them into an 11-3 team in his last year as a college coach. Although Rhule struggled as a head coach in the NFL (11-27 with the Carolina Panthers), he is just the type of proven head coach that West Virginia is looking for. +750

Deion Sanders – Potential program-changer who would give the university immediate attention from around the country. Sanders is an incredible recruiter who would bring major talent to Morgantown. In his 3rd season at Jackson State, Sanders is 21-5 overall, and Power 5 Conference athletic directors who have spoken to him were very impressed with his knowledge and preparation. +1000