ShaDon Brown on WVU’s Defensive Staff Returning: ‘We Didn’t Forget How to Coach’
MORGANTOWN, W.Va – It is no secret WVU’s defense, especially the secondary, had a rough season overall in 2022. But this is not something the defensive coaches, in particular ShaDon Brown, is running from.
Brown, who is entering his third season with the Mountaineers, serves as both the co-defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach on Neal Brown’s staff. He was asked point-blank what it means to him to still have his job after the obvious struggles of last season.
This is a fair question, mostly due to the culture of today and how coaches are often let go as a response from a disappointing season. It’s also common if the head coach is retained, like Neal Brown was, the assistants would then take the fall as a way to blame someone.
“It’s not like we forgot how to coach,” ShaDon Brown, a man who has been coaching professionally since 2003, said with a smile. While he did offer a smile, Brown was very serious in defending the coaches on the staff. He then reminded everyone that these same coaches who some were calling to be fired also led a defense that was pretty good just two seasons ago.
The Mountaineers’ secondary was actually third in the Big 12 in pass defense in 2021. So it’s not as if this WVU defensive staff has never achieved success together at West Virginia.
For Brown, he was with Louisville in 2019 when the Cardinals defense was ranked 17th in the country as a whole. Again, his resume suggest 2022 as an aberration. That doesn’t change the pressure this current defensive unit is under, especially since their head coach is facing an evaluation season of his own.
The lack of coaching changes on the defensive side of the ball is also in contrast with their offensive counterparts. Even though no one was directly fired, the West Virginia offense will still look different schematically. That’s not the case for the defense, and there’s an argument that the defense let the offense down more than the reverse.
Regardless of what happened and the fact changes were made on offense, defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley, (ShaDon) Brown and company are back for another go of it in 2023. And they aren’t hiding from the pressure they know they’re under.