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College Football Coach On Hot Seat "Believed To Be Safe"

A general view of West Virginia's football stadium.

MORGANTOWN, WV - SEPTEMBER 20: A general view of Mountaineer Field during the game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the West Virginia Mountaineers on September 20, 2014 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

There were a lot of firings during and immediately after the 2022 college football season. But one embattled Power Five head coach appears to be safe as we get deeper into the hiring cycle.

According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown is believed to be safe despite going 5-7 in 2022. "Barring an unforeseen snag," he is expected to remain the head coach in 2023.

West Virginia recently hired Wren Baker as their new athletic director following the departure of Shane Lyons during the season. Lyons was the one who hired Brown, and usually a new AD will make a head coaching change quickly.

Per the report, Baker is planning to evaluate Brown's status with the team. However, that evaluation will take place next year as opposed to these next few days.

Ultimately, this might wind up being a delay of the inevitable more than anything else.

Neal Brown rose to prominence as head coach at Troy from 2015 to 2018. After going 4-8 in his first year, he led the Trojans to a 31-8 record with three bowl wins, two trips to the Sun Belt Championship Game and a Sun Belt title in 2017 - their first since 2010.

Brown was hired to replace Dana Holgorsen in 2019 and had an up-and-down first year at the helm. He led the Mountaineers to the Liberty Bowl in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, knocking off Army in the process.

The following year the Mountaineers went 6-6 in the regular season before being crushed by Minnesota in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. 

At 22-25 in four years, Brown will likely need a very hot start to the 2023 season to make it to the end of next season.