Neal Brown, the former Kentucky wide receiver and later offensive coordinator who has been a smash hit as head coach at Troy University, is set to take the head coaching job at West Virginia, according to a report Friday.
Brown and West Virginia are finalizing the details on what would be a six-year deal to lead the Mountaineers, according to a published report by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports citing sources.
Brown would replace Dana Holgorsen, who jumped to the University of Houston after 10 seasons with the Mountaineers. Holgorsen lost his last three bowl games at West Virginia and led it to an 8-4 mark in the Big 12 this season.
Brown led the Trojans to a 10-3 mark this season which included a win over Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl and a stunning upset of Nebraska in Lincoln. In four seasons at Troy, Brown has compiled a record of 35-16, including three straight bowl wins and a 2017 Sun Belt Championship.
Brown was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year in 2017. He made national headlines that year when Troy stunned No. 22 LSU 24-21 in a night game at Baton Rouge.
Brown, who grew up in Bardstown before moving to Danville, was an all-state wide receiver at Boyle County High School. He played at Kentucky from 1998-2000 and was a two-year letterman, catching 10 passes, including one for a touchdown. He was a member of UK’s Outback Bowl and Music City Bowl teams and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll before transferring to Massachusetts.
Brown returned to UK in 2013 as Mark Stoops’ first offensive coordinator. He left after two seasons to take the head coaching job at Troy.
Brown signed a four-year contract extension with Troy after the 2016 season. His athletic director, Jeremy McClain, expressed a clear understanding at the time of what he had in Brown.