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COACH SPEAK: Brown Addresses Being A Lightning Rod

TCU v West Virginia Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Tuesday’s press conference for West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown was the first time the coach has spoken publicly since the Mountaineers’ defeat in Ames (other than a brief six-minute post-game press conference) and one that comes on the heels of two days of fan expectations of a potential coaching change.

The Mountaineers sit 3-6 in year four of the Brown regime and 20-24 during his overall time as the head coach. If not now, when, is a fair question being asked online, on social media and in even in person. How much longer must the fans endure this slow descent into oblivion? Brown was asked about being a “lightning rod” Tuesday and had this to say,

I hate losing. Losing it makes everything difficult to deal with. I hate it because the people in this building are investing a lot. I hate it because we haven’t really had to experience that very often. What people say doesn’t really affect me, but the losing is painful to go through..... I think there’s a lot more things out there for people to be negative about so, when I come into this building, I refuse to be negative. I refuse to feel sorry for ourselves as coaches or as players. The bottom line is we’re going to do everything we can to go and win a game this week. It happens to be Oklahoma this week. We have to do everything in our power as head coach, coordinators, all the way down the staff - and our players..... that’s the focus. To me, I kind of get lost in the work. I think failure is temporary unless you accept it, and I refuse to accept it.


It’s a bold strategy, to say you don’t accept failure when the entire tenure can be defined by failure. Failure to climb, failure to start fast, failure to finish, failure to run the ball, failure to develop, failure to catch, failure to make the “right reads”, on and on and on, failure has been accepted.

West Virginia will take on the Oklahoma Sooners, who the Mountaineers have failed to beat since joining the conference in 2012.