West Virginia University football coach Neal Brown had nothing but praise Monday for the man leading the Mountaineers’ opponent this week, Kansas State’s Chris Klieman.
Like Brown, Klieman joined the Big 12 last season, hired by Kansas State to replace the legendary Bill Snyder. Of the four Big 12 teams with first-year head coaches last season, Klieman’s Wildcats finished with the best record; 8-5, 5-4 in the Big 12.
Klieman has K-State out to a 4-1 start this season, drawing praise from Brown for being able to continue the Wildcats’ success without mich drop off.
“I think it takes humility,” Brown said on Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference. “There’s no need to change things that are good about a place and I think that takes a lot of humility and I think that speaks really well to coach Klieman and really their entire staff.”
Brown referenced Klieman’s time at North Dakota State, where he won four FCS national championships in five years, as proof that he understands how to build and maintain a winning culture.
Brown described his and Klieman’s situations from a year ago as completely different. Klieman was tasked with continuing a culture and maintaining success, while Brown felt he needed to instill a culture. Something that even in year two Brown does not feel he has done yet.
“Are we where we need to be, culturally, or where I’d hoped we’d be midway through year two? Probably not,” Brown admitted. “We’re like most programs, we’d love to have the spring and the summer to kind of grow with our guys, we didn’t.”
Brown said Saturday’s loss to Texas Tech showed that the Mountaineers are not where he wants them to be just yet.
“We’re a work in progress,” Brown said. “We show signs and then sometimes it’s two steps forwards, two steps back. But we’re going to continue to get better.”
Brown had WVU out to a 3-1 start last year but suffered through a five-game midseason losing streak. A win over Klieman’s Wildcats on Nov. 16 broke that streak and the Mountaineers won two of their final three games to finish the year 5-7, 3-6 in the Big 12.
WVU against started out 3-1 this season, but Saturday’s slip-up in Lubbock puts the Mountaineers at 3-2 as they prepare to host the Wildcats this week.
Get WVSN in your mailbox!
WVU Basketball Records 3rd 20-Loss Season in Program History
WVU Women’s Basketball Big 12 Tournament Opponent/Bracket Announced
WVU Baseball Can’t Complete Comeback at WKU, Falling 4-3
Zach Frazier Impresses in Drills, Measurements at NFL Combine
Zach Frazier Believes Beanie Bishop, Doug Nester Deserved NFL Combine Invites
Hype Surrounding WVU Football Transfer Addition Continues to Grow
In the Holler: What’s Attracting 2025 4-Star Dawayne Galloway to WVU Football
2025 3-Star In-State RB/CB Deciding Between WVU Football, 3 Other Schools
Report: Ryan Nehlen Set to Rejoin WVU Football Staff as Analyst
ACC Coach Tells On3 Who Could Win at West Virginia
Postgame Reaction to WVU’s Home Loss to Texas Tech
WVU Football Documents Hudson Clement’s Memorable 2023 Season
Watch: WVU Interim HC Josh Eilert Previews Texas Tech
Watch: WVU WBB HC Mark Kellogg, G Jayla Hemingway on Losing Streak
Postgame Reaction to WVU’s Overtime Loss at K-State
Breaking Down WVU Football’s Committments for 2024
12shares 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
10shares 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
7shares Share Tweet Reddit CommentsSince the Mountaineers have been increasingly active in pursuing transfers lately and there’s an important distinction...