Several Former Players Speak Out Against Vic Koenning

Morgantown, West Virginia – Although Kerry Martin, Jr. was the first West Virginia player to speak out against former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, several other former players of his also came forward today to say that Koenning was not a pleasant coach in the past either.

Former NFL linebacker Travis Hughes, who played under Koenning during his time at North Carolina, said the following about his former defensive coordinator:

“Vic is one of the most negative coaches/people that I’ve ever had the displeasure of being around. The words he said, to the NFL Cleveland Browns, about me was so damaging. I completely stopped trying to be a football player. For there was no chance of me reversing that type of rhetoric from a coach at my school. He made good men and amazing athletes hate the beautiful game of football?  I wish this guy didn’t coach anyone son’s. His first interaction with UNC linebackers was, ‘I know most of you have no father figures. I will be the dad that helps you.’


The man was a joke and I wish he got fired from UNC. The first day he showed up with that terrible defense. I remember him In such a negative light and unfortunately in the three years I cannot pick out one compliment for him. Ugly is only Ugly no matter how you dress. This man needs a new job and I hope it’s not with a football program. He is not a person with moral values. I know this is a little much, but truly I harbor great pain that I have sought therapy to deal with. I don’t wish anyone negative outcomes, however I wish for this man to find a new path that leads him away from young men of color. Just my opinion. To all the other coaches at UNC during my era, I harbor no bad emotions. All of you did an amazing job. This guy Vic. He knows my feelings because I expressed them to him long back and I paid for that expression.”

Darien Rankin, a linebacker and former teammate of Hughes, said his agreed with the assessment of Koening: “Feel the same way about that man too brother. Negative individual I wish I never encountered but hey we live and we learn.”


Jessie Rogers, a defensive end on the North Carolina team, replied to Hughes as well: “Bro I just got done explaining this whole thing to my mom. How he literally snatched my passion for the game from me, and just everything we had to go through on a daily basis. It was so damaging in the long run. Karma comes around always.”

Finally, Curtis Campbell, a linebacker on the team, added, “I’m not the least surprised. I assumed he would take the same approach he did in 2012 when Trayvon Martin was murdered and the Black Lives Matter movement was getting started, not say anything at all. I hate the “I’m still learning, I’m not perfect” apologies. The truth is you never been held accountable for your freedom of speech or silence on the matter. You were smarter when you held your tongue at Carolina. Nearly a decade later your remarks have revealed to the media what some of your players have known for years.”

Although this could simply be a small group of former players that didn’t like Koenning, but it also shows that Kerry Martin, Jr. was not the only player that has spoken against him during his long career.  Also not shown is the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals that Koenning coached who have not said anything negative about him.