There’s no denying Neal Brown is on the hot seat, but one national writer doesn’t seem to feel he will be fired in the middle of the season no matter what.
While ESPN’s Pete Thamel has Brown as one of the coaches under the most pressure this season, he also cited the track record the WVU’s athletic director as why Brown will at least get to finish the season. Thamel brought up how Wren Baker handled things the last time he was presiding over a program with a coach on the hot seat.
Back in 2021, Baker allowed his coach at North Texas to stay on dispute a horrible start to this season and that year ended up in a strong finish and bowl appearance for the Mean Green.
Below is exactly what Thamel said about why he thinks a slow start to the season won’t necessarily mean Brown is out of a job before Halloween or even Thanksgiving.
“Neal Brown is 22-25 during his time at WVU, and he’d be owed $13 million if fired. (That would be paid out over six years, which makes it more manageable for the school.) First-year athletic director Wren Baker’s history shows he’d be hesitant to fire Brown early in the season if the Mountaineers struggle,” said Thamel.
He continued. “In 2021 at North Texas, Baker kept coach Seth Littrell after a 1-6 start, and the Mean Green ended up winning five in a row and reaching a bowl. Brown can position himself for a narrative change with a trip to Penn State and home game against Pitt in September,” Thamel added as an example of what Baker could be reflecting back on if faced with the decision if to let Brown try to dig himself out of a hole or cut bait early and begin a search for the next leader of the Mountaineers.
What’s interesting about this take by Thamel is that Brown has been on just about every list around about coaches most likely to be fired this season, yet this is the first time someone has mentioned Baker’s patience as a factor that could be in Brown’s favor.
In a related story, Neal Brown believes in the vision of Baker despite being hired by his predecessor.
Get WVSN in your mailbox!
Geno Smith Wins an Individual Award That Eluded Him Last Season
WVU, Marshall Men’s Soccer Teams Rank Top 2 in Country
Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones Teases More from His Side on Recent Arrest
Line Keeps Leaning on History, Favoring Texas Tech Over WVU Football
WVSN Notebook 9/20/23: West Virginia Soccer Teams Look to Keep Winning
WVU Football Recruits Who Will Be in Attendance for Backyard Brawl
The Rock Picks WVU Over Pitt in Backyard Brawl
WVU DB Beanie Bishop Blasts Pitt QB Phil Jurkovec, Calls Him Bad at His Job
Poll: Does the NCAA Clear RaeQuan Battle’s Waiver?
Does the ESPN FPI Think WVU Will Beat Pitt in Backyard Brawl?
Country Roads Webcast: Backyard Brawl Review, Reaction
Watch: WVU Fans Sing Their Version of Sweet Caroline During Backyard Brawl
Watch: WVU Football Coaches, Players Recap Pitt Win, Preview Texas Tech
Watch: Ref to Geno Smith: ‘I’m Talking to America Here’
Watch: WVU Product Rasul Douglas Records First Pick of Season
Breaking Down WVU Football’s Committments for 2024
7shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsWith some new recruits announcing commitments to the WVU football program this week, the 2024 class...
Complete List of High School Recruits Offered by WVU Football
6shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsTo say the WVU football program has been putting in a lot of recruiting work since...
Transfer Players Who Have Signed with West Virginia Football
5shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsSince the Mountaineers have been increasingly active in pursuing transfers lately and there’s an important distinction...