WVU Notebook: Huggins Meets Brown

WVU Notebook: Huggins Meets Brown

MORGANTOWN — New football coach Neal Brown not only met with his football players and staff and former head football coach Don Nehlen, but he had a brief introductory meeting with another Mountaineer legend, basketball coach Bob Huggins.

Neal Brown

“He seems like he fits,” Huggins said on Tuesday during a conference call before his Wednesday game at Kansas State. “I think we can make an argument there’s not much difference between Kentucky and West Virginia.

“I’ve been to Danville once. Unless you live in Louisville, everything in that state is UK. And here it’s WVU, of course.”There is one other thing that Huggins noted about being from Kentucky.

“If you’re from Kentucky, you love basketball,” he said. “And I’m a football fan. Every since that LSU thing (When Brown’s Troy team upset No. 24 LSU in 2017) I’ve followed him. You want to follow successful people.”

And what did they talk about mostly?

“We had a conversation about West Virginia, about this university and the fans. Everything was very positive.”

* * * * * *

Talk about a nice touch from Brown. His first two offers as WVU coach, barely before the ink was dry on his contract, went to two players from the high school at which he played.

Brown, who was a wide receiver at Boyle County High and graduated as the second leading receiver in the state’s history, offered a scholarship to Reese Smith, a wide receiver at the school, and to Landen Bartleson, a teammate who is a running back.

These are players on the national radar, Smith holding offers from Tennessee and Kentucky and Bartleson offers from Ohio State, Kentucky and Louisville.

* * * * * *

Friday just wasn’t Tony Gibson’s day.

The West Virginia defensive coordinator was hoping to get the head coaching job that Dana Holgorsen vacated when he accepted the same job at the University of Houston.

But on Friday WVU athletic director Shane Lyons agreed in principle on a contract to sign Troy’s Neal Brown to replace Holgorsen, putting Gibson’s future in limbo.

At about the same time that was happening, a horse named Gibby, which is what everyone calls Gibson, ran in the seventh race at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida and went off at 5-to-2 odds.

He finished fourth.

Tough day.

* * * * * *

Former WVU quarterback and athletic director Oliver Luck is knee deep into the recycled XFL as President and CEO and is quite enthusiastic about it’s chances.

“I’m really enjoying it,” he admitted recently. “I’ve done something similar before, working with startups.”

That includes the World Football League in Europe and a professional soccer team in Houston.

“I’m optimistic it can work out,” Luck said. “Vince McMahon is a proven entrepreneur with his success and he’s committed lot of capital to this project. I’m super excited about it.”

It might even have a better chance of succeeding if his son, Andrew, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback, won the Super Bowl and then jumped to his league.

Any chance?

“I don’t think so,” Luck said.

* * * * * *

Just wondering how many games in a row do you have to lose to drop out of the Top 20 in the AP Football Poll.

The Mountaineers lost their last three games — giving up 138 points, 46 a game — and lost four of their last seven to finishing at 8-4.

WVU had what you’d call only one quality win, beating Texas, which finished 10-4, with a two-point conversion on the final play of the game.

The only other teams they beat during the season with a .500 or better record were TCU and Baylor, both finished 7-6, while the eight teams they beat combined for a record of 46-53.

It was time for a change.

* * * * * *

WVU offensive right tackle Colton McKivitz, picked to be a late second-day or early first-day draft pick in the NFL, has decided to bypass the draft and return to the NFL for his senior season.

West Virginia offensive lineman Colton McKivitz

“After careful consideration and talking with my family, I have decided to return for my senior season and earn my degree at West Virginia University. I am excited to help lead this team as we start a new era under coach Neal Brown,” McKivitz tweeted.

If he had gone WVU would have lost both of its tackles, Yodny Cajuste having graduated and headed to the NFL.

The only early defection to the NFL to date is linebacker David Long Jr., the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year.

* * * * * *

Former WVU wide receiver Milo Austin has been named the FCS Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.

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    WVU Notebook: Huggins Meets Brown MORGANTOWN — New football coach Neal Brown not only met with his football players and staff and former head football
    [See the full post at: WVU Notebook: Huggins Meets Brown]


    Wonder if Milo will get consideration for Brown’s new staff?


    Can’t see that, no ties there between Brown, and he hasn’t coached at WVU. It is great to see him get that award, though. And in the future, maybe he’s a candidate for an open spot as he continues to work his way up.

    Getting these jobs is so much about connections, though.

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