Brown blends backgrounds for first West Virginia football staff
Neal Brown assembled a mixture of backgrounds on his first coaching staff at West Virginia now he's excited for year two.
The ties ranged from those he brought with him over from his time at Troy, those he coached with at previous stops, connections to other coaches on his staff and those that had an already established relationship with the West Virginia football program in order to reach ten assistants.
Those that followed Brown from Troy include coordinator Vic Koenning, defensive line coach Jordan Lesley and outside linebackers coach Al Pogue on the defensive side while offensive coordinator Matt Moore and quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan represented the other side of the ball.
Technically, co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Chad Scott could be included there as well after working with Brown at stops at Troy when he served as the offensive coordinator, Texas Tech and Kentucky prior to joining his staff in Morgantown.
Even inside linebackers coach Blake Seiler who Brown was able to lure from Kansas State had a built in connection with Koenning as the two worked together in Manhattan.
For the remainder of the staff, Brown brought on former West Virginia safety Jahmile Addae to round out the defensive side prying him away from Minnesota and his addition is one that paid dividends.
“I thought Jahmile brought some new and unique perspective and ideas to that defensive room and I thought that continued to progress throughout the year,” he said.
On the offensive side, Brown looked at another coach with ties to the program in Travis Trickett, but there was an added bonus to including him on the staff. As the offensive coordinator at Georgia State prior to arriving in Morgantown he already had an idea of how things operated with Brown after coaching against them in the Sun Belt.
The final assistant was Xavier Dye, who was on the Clemson staff as a graduate assistant but what they were doing there and how Brown wanted his program to run provided a lot of cross over.
The Mountaineers finished the season 5-7 in the first year together, but Brown expects things to be naturally smoother in year two and the intent is to keep the group together.
“It’s not a selfish group. It’s a group that has the betterment of the whole in mind,” Brown said.
Brown understands that with all of the job openings that come it might be impossible to guarantee his entire staff returns in 2020, but he has a firm set of standards he wants his coaches to know.
“My hope here is it’s a working environment they want to be a part of. They see where we’re going and appreciate how we’re going about getting there. We’re giving them the opportunity to grow in the profession and continuing to develop them as coaches,” he said.
The contact situation for each assistant:
DC Vic Koenning, $650,000, two-years left
Co-OC/OL Matt Moore, $450,000, one-year left
Co-OC/RB Chad Scott, $400,000, one-year left
ILB Blake Seiler, $325,000, one-year left
CB Jahmile Addae, $300,000, one-year left
DL Jordan Lesley, $250,000, one-year left
TE/WR Travis Trickett, $250,000 one-year left
OLB Al Pogue, $225,000, one-year left
QB Sean Reagan, $200,000, one-year left
WR Xavier Dye, $200,000, one-year left
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