(Photo by WVU Athletics)
The writing is on the wall, folks. The Neal Brown era seems to be coming to a close in Morgantown. After a 48-10 loss to Texas Tech, things are just too nearly off the rails to correct at this point.
With that being said, West Virginia will be looking for the right fit once the inevitable separation of Brown and the Mountaineers comes. While many are speculating the direction that Shane Lyons will decide to go in his second coaching hire at WVU, there’s only one replacement that makes sense to me. Honestly, I would see it as a no-brainer.
That replacement would be none other than Army’s Jeff Monken.
While he may be an older option, Monken has certainly left a track record of success behind him. After building a winner at Georgia Southern, Monken has since taken a terrible Army program and turned them into a winner.
Here are the records that Monken has accumulated since at Army:
2022: 3-4 (through 7 games)
There were some growing pains early on, yes, but Monken has Army winning consistently. This is not something that gets done regularly at Army.
However, the one thing that would make WVU fans second guess this hire would be the style of offense. Monken runs a triple-option offense at Army, and if we’re being honest, this wouldn’t be something WVU fans would necessarily want to see. We’re used to seeing the Mountaineers light up the scoreboard with speed.
But just because Monken has ran a triple-option offense everywhere else doesn’t mean he would do so in Morgantown. In fact, it could be a stipulation made by Lyons that he doesn’t. Personally, if he were to be hired in Morgantown, I don’t think he would. Although, I also don’t think he would bring a fast-paced throw it around offense.
Probably the most appealing thing Monken has going for him is his ability to make something out of nothing. At Georgia Southern and Army, the 55-year old hasn’t been playing with major talent – yet he has still won. Just imagine what he could do with the resources and talent in Morgantown. For a WVU program that just seems to lack the talent compared to other teams in the Big 12, this would be a huge bonus with landing Monken.
I’m no athletic director, and I never will be. If I were in charge of this inevitable coaching search, however, I wouldn’t hesitate to call Jeff Monken to at least see if I could garner his interest. Despite Neal Brown not working out coming from a Group of 5 program, teams like Kansas have had success hiring from a lower level. It just takes the right man for the job with the right pedigree.
Monken has everything it takes to be a Mountaineer and more.