Just over a month before the college football season is set to begin, West Virginia finds itself without a defensive coordinator. After allegations against him levied by players, including safety Kerry Martin Jr., Vic Koenning and the school have agreed to a "mutual separation."
Koenning was set to enter his second season at West Virginia. He joined the program alongside head coach Neal Brown. Last month, amid a public reckoning over racism and other issues without our society, Martin detailed mistreatment by the Mountaineers' DC.
"I myself have dealt with mistreatment and racism growing up in West Virginia, but I never would've thought I would deal with it while at a school I'm supposed to be able to call home with my own position coach, Vic Koenning," Martin wrote. "Starting back to Spring Ball 2019 before guys started to transfer, Coach Vic has antagonized Derrek Pitts for believing in something he didn't believe. He would make remarks about the Bible and talk about religion in front of Derrek, making him want to question things he believed." This was not the only time Martin described Koenning trying to impose his religion on players.
Martin would go on to describe a "Slave Master" mentality, and said that Koenning used inappropriate language against him after a mistake on the practice field. He also details racist invective against Hispanics, while a Hispanic player was present. He also allegedly bashed protesters against racial inequality and police violence, saying that "if people did not want to get tear gassed, or pushed back by the police, then they shouldn't be outside protesting."
Vic Koenning was put on administrative leave by West Virginia the day that Martin tweeted these stories. Now, he is out in Morgantown.
"This mutual separation is in the best interest of our football program," West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said in his statement about the move. "Coach Brown and I have set high expectations for our coaches, staff and student-athletes, and it is that culture that will allow us to compete for championships. We are moving forward as a program and our coaches, staff and student-athletes have my complete confidence and support."
"No, coach Vic is not a bad person and he does mean well in many aspects but his heinous actions towards us over rules the good things he has done and many of us are uncomfortable with being around him," Martin said at the end of his original statement. He has not yet responded to this latest news.
BREAKING: WVU and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, who had been accused of improper and insensitive dealings with players by safety Kerry Martin Jr., mutually agree to separate. More later.
— Bob Hertzel (@bhertzel) July 22, 2020