Reports: West Virginia to hire Troy’s Neal Brown
It appears Neal Brown’s largely successful stint as the Troy head football coach will be a short one.
According to multiple reports from national media on Friday, West Virginia is finalizing a deal to name Brown its new head coach. Brown had been a frontrunner for the job from the start of the search, which began earlier this week when former West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen left to lead Houston’s program.
According to Brett McMurphy of Stadium Network, the Mountaineers’ initial deal with Brown will be a six-year agreement.
Brown, 38, had emerged as one of the top up-and-coming candidates in college football after posting three consecutive 10-win seasons, a first in Troy’s illustrious history. The Trojans went 31-8 the last three years, with the 31 wins tying a program record for most victories in a three-year stretch.
Brown interviewed for the Arizona opening last year and was reported to be a finalist for the Kansas State head coaching job in December.
Brown, an assistant at Troy in the mid- to late 2000s, has coached in the Mountaineers’ conference, the Big 12, before. He left his first stint at Troy to serve as Tommy Tuberville’s offensive coordinator at Texas Tech.
Brown has also coached in the same region as West Virginia. The native Kentuckian played and coached at Kentucky and also coached at Delaware early in his career.
Brown’s success as the Trojans’ leader, though, earned him the chance to lead a Power 5 program. Brown inherited a Troy program that had struggled in the last few years under legendary coach Larry Blakeney, and after a 4-8 campaign in his first season, won at least 10 games in each of the next three years.
Brown’s teams also had a penchant for playing well in big games, stunning No. 25 LSU on the road in a night game in 2017 and beating Nebraska last season. Troy also won all three of the bowl games it played under Brown.