What can Brown do for you?
More importantly, what can Neal Brown do for West Virginia?
Early Friday afternoon, news broke that Troy’s Neal Brown has been pegged as the next head football coach for the Mountaineers, replacing now-Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen.
And on Saturday morning, the University officially announced that Brown has been hired as West Virginia’s next head coach.
Let’s get to know West Virginia’s 35th head football coach Neal Brown.
Culturally speaking, Brown’s transition from Alabama to Morgantown will be a seamless one. Originally from Danville, Kentucky, Brown is a southern Appalachian man with strong ties to the eastern Kentucky area. He should have no issue connecting with the blue-collar West Virginia fan and it should be even easier for the fan base to accept him as one of their own.
He’s also nothing short of a terrific person. We caught up with ACC Network and Troy Football correspondent Melanie Newman who told us Brown is “extremely humble and a diligent human. He works well with media, is respectful and truly listens and answers. He demands the highest of his players and they have to answer for themselves. They adore him, too.”
On the field, the results speak for themselves. After never eclipsing the ten-win mark as an FBS program, Brown led the Trojans to three-straight ten-win seasons (2016-2018), including three bowl wins and the school’s first and only top-25 ranking in 2016. Two of those wins came against LSU in Baton Rouge and versus Nebraska in Lincoln.
More so, Brown has roots in the Big 12 as well. He served as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under Tommy Tubberville from 2010-2012 and played wide receiver under Hal Mumme at Kentucky from 1998-2000. And his time at those two respective programs have had a heavy influence on his play-calling as a head coach.
Though heralded as an air-raid disciple, and his offenses do mimic what we’ve seen from other air-raid offenses, Brown has also evolved into a run-first coach during his time at Troy. This past season, Troy ran the ball 55% of the time and boasted the school’s second 1,000-yard rusher in three years. In 2016, Troy running back Jordan Chunn’s 1,288 rushing yards ranked second in school history and his 2,346 career rushing yards rank ninth.
From on the field to off it, West Virginia has hit home run in hiring Neal Brown.