West Virginia has hired Neal Brown, the former head coach at Troy, according to reports. Exact details of his contract are still pending, but according to Brett McMurphy, he will sign a six year agreement.
Troy’s Neal Brown has agreed in principle to become West Virginia’s coach, sources told @WatchStadium. Brown will receive a 6-year deal, source said
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 4, 2019
This is thought by many to be a home-run hire by the Mountaineers, who have been in need of a head coach since New Year’s Day. Former head coach Dana Holgorsen was hired to the same position at the University of Houston on January 1.
In Brown, West Virginia is hiring perhaps the best non-Power Five coaches in all of FBS. He’s had three straight seasons of double digit wins in four years at Troy, and defeated perennial SEC powerhouse LSU in 2017.
After taking over a Troy team that went 3-9 in 2014, Brown won the Sun Belt in his third season on the job. Most recently, he led the Trojans to a comeback victory over Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl, where they scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to get the 42-32 win.
Another reason this is probably a good hire is that there won’t be much of a schematic shift in Morgantown. Brown, after all, played at Kentucky under Air Raid gurus Hal Mumme and Mike Leach. He is also familiar with the culture of the Big 12, as Brown was the offensive coordinator under Tommy Tubberville from 2010-2012.
Brown will take over a West Virginia team that is replacing multiple veteran playmakers on both sides of the ball. Whatever his first year in Morgantown looks like, however, Brown has proven his ability to sustain high levels of success.