Cover Photo: Ben Queen, USA Today
Morgantown, West Virginia – Let me preface this by saying I don’t think there’s much of a chance that Neal Brown will return next season as the head coach at West Virginia, despite the report from ESPN suggesting the contrary.
The new director of athletics is not going to evaluate Neal Brown’s performance over the past 4 seasons and give him another year with the team. That would instantly destroy his/her credibility with the entire fanbase and immediately put his/her job in danger as well.
There is no way to rationalize giving Neal Brown another year. He has failed and it’s way past time to move on. In addition, the attractiveness of the athletic director position at West Virginia is drastically increased by being able to hire his/her new head football coach. Retaining Brown does absolutely nothing for the new AD.
With that said, if the reports of Brown “likely being back at West Virginia” are somehow true, it would lead to devastating results for the football program.
Imagine Brown returning next season. Season ticket sales would likely drop to its lowest level ever. Remember, attendance for this season was the lowest since 1999 (excluding the COVID year) and was the first time in 40 years that the team had a losing record in back to back games. The first game is on the road at Penn State. If there would be any excitement surrounding the team, it would be immediately crushed by getting blown out in the first week against the Nittany Lions.
While it’s been said that West Virginia could lose a massive amount of current players to the transfer portal as well as many of the current commits in the 2023 class, it’s important to remember that the future of the program cannot be driven by one year of recruiting.
Players are going to leave whether Brown returns or not. That’s just the nature of today’s game. Also, West Virginia has lost more players to the transfer portal than virtually any team in the country over the past 4 years with Brown as the head coach! Yes, players will leave, but the new head coach will bring in his own players, particularly if West Virginia goes out and gets the type of coach that the team deserves.
If Neal Brown is back next year, you have to know how devastating that would be for the West Virginia football program and brand @gordongee
— The Voice of Morgantown (@voicemorgantown) November 23, 2022