RUMOR: Rich Rodriguez Ready and Willing to Come Home

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Rich Rodriguez coming home to be the head coach of the Mountaineers again isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Although very unlikely at this stage of his career, there are many people in Mountaineer Nation who would love to see Rodriguez return to his home state and alma mater to lead the Mountaineers back to prominence.

A social media account called “Former WVU Insider” posted the following message on Twitter today that got the hopes up of those hoping for his return: “Ran into Rich Rod at the Atlanta airport this morning. I asked him when he’s coming back to Morgantown and he replied, “When they let go of Neal (Brown)!”

Rodriguez could have simply been joking, or perhaps the story is entirely made up, but it certainly fueled speculation on social media today about whether West Virginia would actually consider hiring their former head coach.

Rodriguez, 59, led Jacksonville State to a 9-2 record in his first season with the team and was rewarded for his team’s performance on the field. Rodriguez signed a contract extension through 2028 and will have his base salary increase from $500,000 a year last season to $800,000 every year.

“I think it’s great,” Rodriguez said after agreeing to the extension. “We’ve made a commitment to each other. It’s long term. I teased that I’d sign a lifetime contract, but then if we lost, they’d have to kill me. We love it here. We love the people. We love the town. We love the college. We love the guys in the program.”

Although Rodriguez is clearly happy at Jacksonville State, there’s almost no doubt that he would jump at the opportunity to coach the Mountaineers again if the opportunity presented itself.

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Brad Smith
Brad Smith, "The Voice of Morgantown", is the most trusted, accomplished name in West Virginia sports journalism. Smith is the foremost, preeminent authority on West Virginia athletics and a lifelong fan of the Mountaineers. Smith, a proud graduate of West Virginia University, resides in Morgantown most of the year, but has a home in Jacksonville, Florida, where he lives during the winter.