The Morning After: Neal Brown Must Make These Changes Now

Morgantown, West Virginia – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown signed one of the sweetest buyout deals in college football – a $20 million clause if he’s fired without cause prior to 2026 – and so, for better or worse, we’re stuck with him.

If Shane Lyons hasn’t already done so, it’s time to have a serious conversation with Neal Brown.  Catchy slogans and promises of future success aren’t going to calm or appease a fan base hungry for progress much longer.

Lyons has allowed Brown plenty of opportunity to prove himself on the big stage and Brown has failed.  Although Lyons certainly expected a rebuild when Brown was hired in 2019, a 15-17 overall record and a 4-6 record in Year 3 is a failure through even the most optimistic lense.

Prove he can fire an assistant

At this point, a statement must be made within the football program that losing is unacceptable.  Brown has loaded his staff with friends and firing one or multiple of them will be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s long overdue.

Brown consistently discusses how his team doesn’t do the fundamental things needed to win games.  Teaching the fundamentals is precisely the role of his assistant and they have failed over and over and over again.  Brown must make a statement by showing his players and staff that losing will no longer be tolerated.

Hire an offensive coordinator

We’ve been saying this for weeks…years.  Brown’s lack of a real, proven, experienced offensive coordinator is such an obvious issue that it’s baffling that it hasn’t been addressed.  Gerad Parker is not an offensive coordinator.  He’s a lifelong wide receivers coach.  Neal Brown is not an offensive coordinator.  He’s the head coach.  

This odd, poorly-executed method of calling plays that Brown has adopted is not working.  There are plenty of outstanding offensive minds throughout college football that would jump at an opportunity at West Virginia to take over the offense.

Make things right with Jahmile Addae 

Brown let Jahmile Addae, a former West Virginia Mountaineers great and outstanding young coach, leave for the University of Georgia and that should have never happened.  Addae should have been the defensive coordinator of the team in 2020 and absolutely should be the defensive coordinator right now.

Although Jordan Lesley has done an admirable job, moving him back to defensive line coach and hiring the ultra-talented Jahmile Addae would instantly make the Mountaineers defense one of the best in the country again.

Stop making excuses 

Brown says virtually the same things every week in his depressing, predictable press conferences and post game conferences.

“We’ve got to get this fixed.  We got beat in all three phases of the game.  This is a tough league and it’s a frustrating game.  Credit to the other team, they beat us.  This is on me and we’ve got to get it fixed.”

Instead of saying he’s going to make changes and get it fixed, actually make changes and get it fixed!