Putting Full Faith in Wren Baker

Cover Photo: WVU Athletics

Morgantown, West Virginia – While West Virginians have every right to be skeptical and disgruntled about the decisions made over the past several years by the people in charge of the athletic department at West Virginia University, there is also reason to be very hopeful and optimistic now that Wren Baker is in charge.

Baker, West Virginia’s new director of athletics, is a fresh face with a brand new perspective, which was desperately needed in Morgantown. Yes, Shane Lyons gave Neal Brown a ridiculous contract extension. Yes, West Virginia’s two most important sports – football and basketball – have tremendously underperformed over the last couple of years. Yes, there are a lot of things that could and should have been done to make improvements and changes that have been ignored.

But none of what’s wrong at West Virginia University has anything to do with Wren Baker. Baker is in the unenviable position of fixing a lot of things that the previous administration got the university into.

In other words, Wren Baker has not yet done anything to lose our trust and should have our full faith moving forward. Although it would be easy to give up on the football program after four years of mediocrity and disappointment, Baker should – and likely does – have a plan to turn the situation around, whether that means giving Neal Brown the appropriate support to succeed or having the guts to move on from Brown if/when he fails next season.

Wren Baker appears energetic and, unlike his predecessor, willing to make unbiased decisions based on what is best for West Virginia University. Perhaps most important about Baker’s hiring is that he was an outsider, unencumbered by the ugly, offensive good old boy culture that has damaged West Virginia athletics for so long.

Wren Baker has a tremendous power and responsibility to fix what’s so important to West Virginia fans all around the country, and although the previous administration let us down over and over and over again, Baker gives us hope that change is truly on the way.