Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU agrees to 1-year contract extension with football coach Neal Brown

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia head football coach Neal Brown’s stay in Morgantown just got longer.

Announced Tuesday morning, WVU athletic director Wren Baker and Brown have agreed on a one-year contract extension that will run through 2027.

“I am pleased with the progress I’ve seen in our football program since arriving last year,” Baker said in a statement. “I believe this contract amendment allows us to continue to build on our momentum as we begin our first year in the new and expanded Big 12 Conference. I’m appreciative of the effort Coach Brown and his staff put into developing the young people in our program both on and off the field.”

Brown is 31-29 in five years with the Mountaineers. Last season was the team’s best of Brown’s tenure as the Mountaineers went 9-4, winning the Duke’s Mayo Bowl over North Carolina. WVU also finished tied for fourth in the Big 12 standings, its best mark under Brown.

“My first priority was retaining and rewarding our assistant coaches and support staff who have played such a critical role in our success,” Brown said in a statement. “I appreciate Wren’s support on that front as well as his continued commitment to me and what we are building. We share a common vision for this program and that alignment is critical to our continued success. There are great things ahead, and I can’t wait to see our incredible fans back in Milan Puskar Stadium on August 31.”

The extension makes several changes to Brown’s contract with West Virginia. First, it slightly decreases Brown’s salary for 2024 and 2025. Originally, Brown would have been paid $4.1 million this year and $4.2 million in 2025. He will now make $4 million this year and next. 

Brown’s salary will increase to $4.3 million in 2026 and $4.4 million in 2027. In total, Brown will make $400,000 less over the next three seasons than was originally slated.

The extension makes it easier for both sides to get out of the deal any time before 2027.

It lowers the amount to buy out Brown’s contract if he were to be fired. Originally, Brown would have been owed 100% of his remaining salary if fired before Dec. 31, 2024. That number dropped to 85% starting in 2025. 

Now, WVU will only be responsible for 75% of Brown’s remaining salary at any time in the contract.

Finally, the amount for Brown to buy out of the contract if he were to take another job was also decreased. Originally, Brown, or the university that hired him away, would have been responsible for 25% of his remaining salary before Dec. 31, 2024. That number dropped to 12.5% starting in 2025. 

Now, Brown would only owe 10% of his remaining salary at any time.

The Mountaineers are set to begin spring practices later this month on March 25. The annual Gold-Blue Spring Game is scheduled for April 27. The 2024 season will begin on Aug. 31 at home against Penn State.

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