Neal Brown has been frustrated with his team’s performance throughout this season, but he has never shown it. He doesn’t stomp around on the sidelines, slamming headsets to the ground, cursing at his young players. Rather, he teaches his team hard lessons from difficult loses during a very challenging time for the West Virginia football program.
Despite five straight loses prior to their upset win at Kansas State, Neal Brown remained confident in his players and his coaching staff’s ability to turn the football program around. Left with little to work with from the previous coaching staff, Brown has spent his first season changing the culture and building his vision from the ground up.
When the Mountaineers were at an absolute low point – following the loss at home against Texas Tech, which sent the team to a 3-6 record – Brown, in a powerful tone, promised the West Virginia faithful that this tough time that our team is going through right now won’t last long.
At the end of his press conference following that loss, Brown said, “This is really for our fans. I really appreciate them being here. They were here for our mantrip at 9:30 this morning and it was only in the upper 20s. They are always supportive. They were here through the bad first half and they were here through the second half, and a high percentage of them stayed. I truly appreciate that. That absolutely does not go unnoticed. We are not playing well as a football team right now. We have a ton of work to in this program.”
Neal Brown is a humble man and he will deliver a team that will make the people of West Virginia proud. Brown ended his message to the fans by saying, “I’ll tell you right now, we will build a successful program here. It doesn’t look like it right now, but because of the fans and for them, we will be successful here. We absolutely will be successful here. There’s some growth pains right now and it is what it is. Nobody is more frustrated with anything that is going on on that football field than me. I can promise you that. We have a high percentage of guys that are going to be back no only for one year but for three years. They will significantly get better We’ll do a better job coaching them and there will be a product on the field that matches the fans that we have.”
Brown’s message was powerful and resolute. Neal Brown is admirably purposeful, determined and unwavering in his mission to lead the West Virginia Mountaineers back to glory, and I for one “Trust the Climb.”
At 4-6 and two games remaining, Brown has put the Mountaineers into position to do the absolute unthinkable. If West Virginia can manage to get past 7-3 Oklahoma State at home and 5-5 TCU on the road in their finale, Brown would exceed all expectations by being bowl eligible. Making it to a bowl game – regardless of which bowl game it is – would be a massive success for the rebuilding Mountaineers.