MORGANTOWN — Neal Brown did not have to search very far to find his new offensive coordinator, as WVU announced Monday that running backs coach Chad Scott has been promoted to the position.
“Chad knows what our strengths are, and he has earned this opportunity,” Brown said in a statement. “I have coached with him for 13 years, and I trust him and the positive energy he brings every day to our team.”
Scott has a long history with Brown, beginning in 2007 at Troy and spanning stints at Texas Tech and Kentucky. Scott has been on Brown’s staff all five years at WVU.
Scott has always served as WVU’s running backs coach and will continue to do so now in his new position. In the past, Scott has also held the titles of co-offensive coordinator from 2019-21 and run game coordinator in 2022.
“I appreciate Coach Brown’s confidence in me to take this next step in my coaching career and become the offensive coordinator of the Mountaineers,” Scott said in a statement. “We have a strong nucleus returning, and we know what we need to do to be successful on offense. It’s time to get to work.”
WVU was in need of a new offensive coordinator when Graham Harrell left to take the same position at Purdue after one season in Morgantown.
Scott has been one of the most successful of Brown’s assistants while in Morgantown. Under his tutelage, former Mountaineer Leddie Brown developed into a two-time 1,000-yard rusher and all-Big 12 player and the team ran for over 2,000 yards last season for the first time since 2018, with a running back room that went four-deep.
“Coach Scott has been a part of elite offenses in the past at Troy, Texas Tech and North Carolina and that experience has prepared him for this leadership role,” Brown said. “The fact that he has built strong relationships with our players and is a tremendous teacher of the game will have a positive effect on our entire offensive unit.”
With four competent running backs on the roster, there was a fear that WVU could lose one or more of them to the dreaded transfer portal this offseason. Thus far, all four — CJ Donaldson, Tony Mathis, Jaylen Anderson and Justin Johnson — have stayed as Mountaineers, a credit to the relationship Scott has built with them.
“He doesn’t overcomplicate things, he keeps stuff simple,” Johnson said of Scott last season. “He’s not the guy to panic in certain situations, he stays cool and just lets us know what we’re doing wrong to get it fixed.”
Scott should also be credited with the emergence of Donaldson, a high school receiver who transitioned to running back last summer and ran for 526 yards and eight touchdowns in seven games as a true freshman.
Running back will by far be WVU’s most-experienced skill position group next, with little returning production at both receiver and tight end. Brown has said this offseason that the team will need to utilize that talent by playing multiple running backs at one time.
“We’re going to have multiple pieces at running back and we’re going to need to get more than one running back on the field,” Brown said last month. “To do that, you’ve got to have some guys who can do different things.”
In Scott, WVU has an offensive coordinator who knows, perhaps better than anyone else, exactly what those backs are capable of and, if the Mountaineers are to be successful next season, hopefully the best way to utilize them all.