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Neal Brown on Appreciating Life During this Tragedy

Cody Nespor

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The severity of the COVID-19 epidemic is not lost on West Virginia head football coach Neal Brown.

“Obviously this is a tragedy, this is a worldwide tragedy,” Brown said on a video call Wednesday morning.

While Browns’ days have remained somewhat packed, with football meetings and virtual recruiting, he said he has been gaining a new appreciation for some things in his life.

“I do think there’s going to be some positives in each of our lives that come from this,” Brown said. “We were forced to hit pause, it wasn’t like we voluntarily did this. We were forced to hit pause and there’s going to be positives that come from this. I think it’s positives in every bit of your life. Your personal your spiritual, your professional, I think you’re going to have real growth during this.”

In hitting pause on football, Brown said he has appreciated the time he has been able to spend with his wife and three kids, be it teaching his son to play tee-ball or trying his hand at being an elementary school teacher.

“I think that being able to spend this time with my family is something that I’ve really enjoyed. I wish it hadn’t happened under these circumstances, but it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed,” Brown said. “I’m having a real appreciation for teachers. I have a sixth-grader, I’ve got a third-grader and I’ve got a pre-K and I’m having a greater appreciation for what (teachers) do on a daily basis and seeing the sacrifices they’re doing and how they’re doing this online education.

“(I have a) new appreciation for some of the stuff that goes on in the house that I had never really thought about that just gets done,” Brown added. “So I probably have a new appreciation for my wife.”

Being forced to work remotely has also given Brown a new appreciation for technology.

“(I am) understanding how to use technology better and how we can be more efficient with that. How we can be more productive through technology, that’s something that’s really grown here in the last month.”

Like everyone else, Brown said he has no idea when he will be able to get back to football or when the world will get back to normal but he is trying to make the most out of the situation.

“So I do think there’s positives,” Brown said. “Now, do those positives outweigh the tragedy of this? No, absolutely not, but I do think there are some real positives coming out of this.”

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Cody is currently a second-year graduate student at West Virginia University studying journalism. His graduate research focuses on the effects newspaper closures have on local communities. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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