Brown during a press conference
|Born||March 11, 1980|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|2004||Sacred Heart (QB/WR)|
|2010–2012||Texas Tech (OC/QB)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Sun Belt (2017)|
Sun Belt East Division (2018)
|Sun Belt Coach of the Year (2017)|
Neal Harmon Brown (born March 11, 1980) is an American college football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at West Virginia University. Brown was previously the head coach at Troy University from 2015–2018. Brown has also previously served as the offensive coordinator at Troy (2008–2009) and Texas Tech University (2010–2012) and the University of Kentucky (2013–2014).
Early coaching career
Brown started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UMass. Before joining Larry Blakeney's staff at Troy to work under Tony Franklin, he spent one-year assistant coaching stints at UMass, Sacred Heart, and Delaware. Following Franklin's departure to Auburn at the end of the 2007 regular season, Brown was promoted to offensive coordinator at Troy. When he was hired, he became the youngest coordinator in all FBS football.
On January 12, 2010, Brown was announced as the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under new Red Raiders head coach Tommy Tuberville. During the 2010 football season, the Red Raider offense performed well. During his tenure at Texas Tech, Brown perfected his NASCAR spread offense. The offense created by Brown focused on players running to the line immediately after the play and quickly snapping the ball before the defense could get set. The offense requires speed at every position to be run the way Brown envisions it. The focus of the offense was to snap the ball 8 seconds after the previous play. The 2010 Red Raiders ranked 15th in the country in total offense, 6th in passing offense, and 72nd in rushing offense.
Brown was considered for the head coaching job at his alma mater, UMass, following the 2011 season. Brown was also considered for the school's head coaching job when it opened following the 2008 season.
On December 9, 2012 it was reported after several weeks of speculation that Brown would return to his home state to coach the offense at Kentucky under new coach Mark Stoops.
Troy announced Brown's hire on Sunday, November 30, 2014. In 2015, Brown's Trojans posted a 4–8 record. Troy was ranked for the first time in the AP top 25 on November 13, 2016, they became the first team from the Sun Belt Conference to be ranked in the Top 25 and finished the year with a record of 10–3. This was Troy's first 10 win season since joining FBS in 2001. Troy capped of the 2016 season by winning the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
In Brown's third season at the helm in 2017, he led Troy to a 3–1 start to begin the season. In the fifth game of the season on September 30, Troy faced #25-ranked LSU. With Troy leading in the third quarter by a score of 24–7, LSU began to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points and trailing just 24–21 with less than 30 seconds left in the game. LSU began to move the ball down-field before having only 8 seconds left on the clock. The very next play became an interception for Troy, which sealed the upset victory. The win over LSU snapped the Tigers' 46-game non-conference home winning streak, which was the longest such streak in the country at the time. The Trojans became Sun Belt co-champions after defeating Arkansas State in a thriller, 32–25. Troy's 10–2 overall record is the programs best regular season finish since joining the FBS in 2001.
Brown was announced as the 35th head football coach for West Virginia University on January 5, 2019.
Brown is a member of the Boyle County Baseball and Football Hall of Fame. He is married to Brooke Brown (née Stewart), and the couple have two daughters, Adalyn and Anslee, and a son, Dax.
He is also a committed Christian and has worked with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) throughout his career.
During a speech at the 2016 FCA Athletes of the year awards banquet, Brown was quoted saying, “Your life is your testimony. Who you are, what you’re about, how you live is your testimony.” Additionally quoted from the same speech, “Your principles must stay the same in the high times and low times,” he said. “Consistency creates trust.”
Head coaching record
|Troy Trojans (Sun Belt Conference) (2015–2018)|
|2016||Troy||10–3||6–2||T–3rd||W Dollar General|
|2017||Troy||11–2||7–1||T–1st||W New Orleans|
|2018||Troy||10–3||7–1||T–1st (East)||W Dollar General|
|West Virginia Mountaineers (Big 12 Conference) (2019–present)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
- Schlabach, Mark (January 4, 2019). "Mountaineers hire Neal Brown to be new coach". ESPN. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- Huguenin, Mike (October 23, 2011). "Doege was key in Raiders' upset victory". Rivals.com. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- Thamel, Pete. "Troy hires Kentucky's Neal Brown to be next football head coach".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 3, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Troy becomes first Sun Belt team ever in AP Top 25". November 13, 2016.
- "2018 WVU Football Guide". Retrieved January 17, 2019.