Neal Brown and Bob Huggins are perfect people to represent our state as the two major sports coaches in West Virginia.
Neal Brown, who just completed his first season in Morgantown by going 5-7 during a rebuilding year, is such a perfect ambassador for our state, that I don’t think I would trade him for any other coach in America.
When considering the possibility of “upgrading” coaches, it’s easy to look at success and immediately want that. Bringing Alabama Head Coach and West Virginia native Nick Saban back home would be tempting, but would we really choose a 68 year old Saban over Brown at this stage in their careers? Maybe, but Brown certainly represents a brighter future for the Mountaineers and is truly the right man for the team right now. Even the most successful head coach in college football history (and a hometown hero) wouldn’t be an upgrade at this point.
Athletic Director Shane Lyons did a truly commendable job of landing the brightest young coach at the Group of 5 level. Brown was the obvious choice for Lyons: “When I started this national search, I learned very quickly that he checked all the boxes of what I was looking for in our next football coach.
There is no question that the Mountaineers are West Virginia’s team, and I know our fans are going to love his energy, passion, work ethic and excitement that he is going to bring to our program. I look forward to working together and supporting him and his staff to bring championships to Morgantown.”
Lyons nailed this hire. Brown, upon being hired, said, “We will work hard, play hard and do things the right way to make the people from the great state of West Virginia proud of their program. That will be a foundational element of our culture.”
66 year old Bob Huggins is different story entirely. Huggins – as much as we hate to admit it – is in the twilight of his career and his window of leading West Virginia is somewhere in the 2-5 year range. But is there really another coach in America that West Virginians would trade him for?
Is there anyone more proud of this state, or anyone more dedicated to bringing a national championship to Morgantown than Bob Huggins? The simple answer is no. So while there are plenty of outstanding young coaches in college basketball, none would be a better fit than Bob Huggins.
It’s rare for fans of a school to have coaches in both sports that they are completely happy and satisfied with, but we have that here at West Virginia University. We have two of the finest coaches and men in college sports and there’s truly never been a greater time than right now to be a Mountaineer.