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ESPN Report: Neal Brown to ‘Likely’ be Back as Head Coach at West Virginia



WVU Football HC Neal Brown

With so much speculation surrounding the future of West Virginia head coach Neal Brown, which ramped up even more after WVU removed Shane Lyons as athletic director recently, it can be tough to determine what’s actually going on. And while many are assuming a new athletic director means a new head coach, one major outlet with legitimate industry sources says not so fast.

In an article co-authored by Adam Rittenberg and Chris Low, ESPN is reporting that Brown will likely be returning as head coach of the Mountaineers for at least next season. They point to two key reasons for why their sources feel Brown will return. The rapid timeline WVU has set to find the school’s next athletic director and the hefty buyout of $16.7 million hat would be owed to Brown to cut ties after this season create obstacles that may result in West Virginia deciding to keep Brown around and see if things can turn around for 2023, his fifth season as head coach.

“Athletic director Shane Lyons is out, and coach Neal Brown’s status has been shaky for a while. But WVU will not make any decisions until the end of the season, and several industry sources are saying Brown likely will receive another year under a new AD in 2023. Brown’s hefty buyout is clearly a factor, and while West Virginia will run an accelerated AD search, the timing to complete both changes by early December would be difficult,” says the article.

Brown’s current 21-25 overall record, his team going from back-to-back bowl appearances to failing to reach bowl legibility, only achieving one winning season in four years, equaling the amount of losing seasons WVU suffered from 1999 to 2018 and an exodus of players to the transfer portal for the second straight year are all factors that could lead to the end of the 42-year-old’s reign over the football program.

Asti: The Pros, Cons to Removing a Head Coach for West Virginia

But at the same time, and while a new AD may prefer to get his or her person in place, rushing the hiring of a head coach, especially with a strong recruiting class on the way, could cause longterm harm to the program.

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