After compiling a 22-25 record, Neal Brown will be on the hot seat when the 2023 season begins.
MORGANTOWN, WV – With Neal Brown squarely on the hot seat going into 2023, fans and media will be keeping their eye out for his potential replacement all season. While there are some obvious candidates, there are several Group of 5 coaches that could be a worthy successor to the former Troy head coach. While this may not seem very enticing to many, there are plenty of lower-level coaches that have more experience than Brown possessed when he arrived in Morgantown.
Here are FOUR potential Neal Brown replacements fans should keep a watch on in 2023:
- Curt Cignetti – James Madison
While he may not be a popular choice for many WVU fans, Cignetti has won at all of his head coaching stops. During his 12 years leading programs, he has never had a losing record. Granted most of that time was at the FCS level, he did help the Dukes transition to the FBS with relative ease. Being a former Mountaineer quarterback, Cignetti also has WVU ties. His father, Frank Sr., served as West Virginia’s head coach from 1976 to 1979.
- Tom Herman – Florida Atlantic
This is a familiar name to Mountaineer fans. Herman last coached the Texas Longhorns in 2020, and has just recently accepted the head coaching gig at Florida Atlantic. Though he is still relatively fresh coming off of a two-season hiatus, he has proven that he can win in the Big 12. If he can put together a successful season with the Owls, it’s feasible to imagine Wren Baker and WVU taking a chance on him.
- Jamey Chadwell – Liberty
Another first-year coach at his new school, Jamey Chadwell now takes on the Liberty Flames. His southern charm and offensive identity will make him an attractive target for the West Virginia Football program. During his time at Coastal Carolina, the Chanticleers were one of the hottest teams in the Group of 5. If he can recapture that magic with the Flames, there’s no reason that West Virginia should not take a chance on him.
- Tony Gibson – NC State (Defensive Coordinator)
If there is anyone in College Football that understands the Mountaineer program, it is Tony Gibson. The 50-year old served as WVU’s defensive coordinator for five seasons under former head coach Dana Holgorsen. He was interviewed for the position after Holgorsen’s departure, but it would ultimately end up going to Neal Brown. Will Wren Baker and WVU give Gibson a second chance should they move on from Brown? Only time will tell, but his solid performance at NC State bodes well for him.