OPINION: Brown’s Contract Extension Was Right Move

MORGANTOWN, WV – After rumors surfaced on Monday, Neal Brown and WVU officially agreed on a one-year contract extension on Tuesday morning, per reports. The deal puts Brown in Morgantown through the 2027 season and allows him a larger budget to hire and retain top coaching talent on his staff. Included in the deal is a $400K reduction in Brown’s salary, as well as a reduced buyout from 100% to 75% of his remaining contract.

Despite the university and Athletic Director Wren Baker voicing their approval of the decision, many fans have done the opposite. Social media has been filled with a plethora of negativity, with many claiming that Brown has not done anything to “deserve it.” While it is a fair claim given the previous four seasons, the 2023 season cemented Brown’s place in Morgantown for many seasons to come.

The trajectory of the program is undoubtedly trending in the right direction. After posting the program’s first 9-win season since 2016, Brown was able to hold onto the bulk of the roster heading into 2024. Players like Garrett Greene, C.J. Donaldson, Jahiem White and Hudson Clement headline a roster that is expected to be a dark horse heading into next season.

Without the extra year of security, WVU would run the risk of losing Brown to a bigger school. Should the Mountaineers put together a solid 2024 season, which many believe they will, programs from all across the nation would come knocking for Brown’s services. His departure would certainly result in the loss of much of the young talent that has been established within the program.

The players that were listed before, as well as those coming in, are the foundation for future success for the Mountaineer Football program. Losing a head coach in today’s College Football landscape could potentially set a program back several years via the transfer portal. This extension prevents a complete disaster occurring to WVU’s roster in the near future.

The “climb” was never meant to be a quick fix in Morgantown. It took five seasons, but things are finally beginning to turn around for Brown and the Mountaineers. The deal is not only evident of WVU’s investment in Brown, but also Brown’s investment into the program.

Both sides can see the painting on the wall, and want to stabilize the sleeping giant that is being built in Morgantown. The Mountaineers have finally found their guy. With so many of the pieces falling into place, and the roster developing into one of the best in the Big 12, the decision by West Virginia and Brown to want to “see this through” should be applauded.

Sometimes there is more to it than just a win-loss record.

(Photo by WVU Athletics)