Ben Queen/USA TODAY Sports
Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia Mountaineers can win their final two games of the regular season and win a bowl game to go 7-6 on the season and Neal Brown still will not be the head coach next season.
In a statement released today, university president E. Gordon Gee said that Brown would complete the final two games of the season and then be evaluated by the new director of athletics: “We are supporting Coach Neal Brown and our team as we complete our season over the next few weeks,” Gee said. “We are aware there are some deficiencies, but we have not given up on the coach and the team, and they have not given up on each other. The evaluation of the football program will be the first task of our new athletic director and no changes will be made until that review has been completed.”
West Virginia will hire a new director of athletics over the next 2-4 weeks. According to Gee, the new director of athletics will evaluate the situation and determine what to do with the football program and the head coach in particular.
Imagine being the new Director of Athletics at West Virginia. Neal Brown is currently 21-24, likely to be 21-26 by the end of the season, the team hasn’t been anywhere near the Top 25 in four seasons and has failed miserably in the Big 12 Conference. No reasonable, logical person would put their career on the line and trust Neal Brown to turn things around.
There isn’t a director of athletics who is going to look at the situation in Morgantown currently and say, “Yeah, this guy deserves a year or two more to finish what he’s started.” It just won’t happen.
In addition, when a new director of athletics is hired historically, they almost always want to start fresh with their own big hire. With that said, the new director of athletics will almost certainly “evaluate” what Brown has done, see that it has been a complete disaster during his tenure, and then quickly fire him and move on to find a new, proven head coach to lead the Mountaineers into the future.