MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Although there is a new director of athletics in place – Wren Baker replaced Shane Lyons – a large portion of the senior leadership is the same as it is now as it was back in 2020 when West Virginia University decided to fire Vic Koenning.
Koenning, who was the defensive coordinator for the Mountaineers, was fired by the university for alleged insensitive remarks made to his then-players. Nothing was caught on video or audio, but players complained about the way they were treated by Koenning.
The insensitive remarks allegedly made by Koenning?
Kerry Martin, a former defensive back for the team, claimed Koenning said the following: “If people did not want to get tear gassed, or push back by the police then they shouldn’t be outside protesting.”
Martin also claimed that Koenning pulled him into his office on multiple occasions and talked about religion and made him read passages from the coach’s Bible.
During a June 2019 workout West Virginia, Martin said Koenning “called me retarded for doing the wrong technique.” Martin said he has family members who are mentally ill, “and for him to say that hurt me because it was an action we could fix.”
Not great, but also seemingly not a fire-able offense. A reprimand and a discussion with Koenning was certainly in order, but to fire him seems absolutely outlandish, particularly after Bob Huggins was heard clearly saying what he said (twice) live on the radio.
Koenning, who is now the defensive coordinator at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, nearly had his career destroyed for saying and doing things that unfortunately many football coaches around the country say every day. It’s also difficult to accept the clear unfairness that Koenning was treated with in comparison to Huggins. Both said things they shouldn’t have, but one got fired while the other remains gainfully employed.