Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Morgantown, West Virginia – Look, nothing is 100% certain, particularly in college athletics, but the odds of Neal Brown returning as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers next season are very, very low.
When West Virginia University forced former director of athletics Shane Lyons to resign earlier in the week, that was essentially the death blow for Brown, too. Lyons and Brown were joined at the hip for the past four years and there isn’t an athletic director in the country that is going to want to roll the dice with Brown moving forward.
Brown has a tremendously large contract buyout, but the new director of athletics will negotiate the buyout and move forward with his/her new hire.
The only way that Brown returns is if Shane Lyons puts a wig and fake mustache on, calls himself “Lane Syons” and somehow manages to be hired as West Virginia University’s new director of athletics. That is the only person in the nation that would want to keep Neal Brown around.
Nothing Brown has done over the past four seasons is deserving of another year. He’s 21-24 overall, likely to be 21-26 after the final two games of the season, and the Mountaineers have shown absolutely no progress on the field during his tenure.
The notion that the new director of athletics will be hired, say what a nice guy Neal Brown is and then give him some more time because “his predecessor left the cupboard bare”, or because of COVID or NIL or any other ridiculous excuses that have been made for him for the past four years, is so utterly absurd that it’s hard to believe that anyone in the state of West Virginia actually believes it.
When the West Virginia Mountaineers take the field against the #15 ranked Kansas State Wildcats, it will almost certainly be the very last time that Neal Brown takes the field as the head coach of the Mountaineers in Morgantown.
Soon all of the “Trust the Climb” signage will be gone around the stadium, a new, better coach will arrive and trust the climb and Neal Brown will be a distant, unfortunate memory for West Virginians.