TROY, AL (WSFA) - It’s been a good run in Troy over these last three seasons but it appears head coach Neal Brown is moving on. According to multiple reports, Brown has accepted the head coaching position at West Virginia University, which means he will not be walking the sidelines of Troy’s Veterans Memorial Stadium in the fall.
An official announcement by WVU has not been made. Troy University said it does not comment on other schools' searches.
Yahoo Sports reports that Brown and WVU are finalizing a six-year deal, per its sources.
What a run it’s been. Brown won’t depart without leaving a legacy. He restored the Trojans to dominance and put the team back on the national map.
He did it first in 2016.
Brown returned to Troy in 2015 after serving as the Trojans' offensive coordinator from 2006-2009 and after going 4-8 in first season as head coach, Brown led the Trojans to the largest turnaround in college football that year. Troy improved from 2015 to 2016 by six wins, going 10-3 and winning the Dollar General Bowl. It was during this season that Troy was ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in its D-I program history. With that accomplishment, Troy also became the first Sun Belt Conference team to be ranked inside the Top 25 as well. Troy finished that season with a win in the Dollar General Bowl over Ohio to cement a record-setting season. Not to be overlooked in this season was Troy’s battle at Clemson in the season’s second week. The Trojans held several leads over the eventual College Football Playoff National Champions before eventually falling 30-24.
The Trojans followed 2016 with an even better 2017. Troy announced its presence in a big way on Sep. 30. After opening the season with a loss to Boise State, the Trojans won two in a row before heading into LSU’s Death Valley. The Trojans shocked the country when they dominated the No. 22 LSU Tigers on the national stage. In LSU’s Tiger Stadium, Troy exited with a 24-21 victory. This fueled a season in which Troy captured its first Sun Belt Conference Title since 2010 after the Trojans completed a comeback against Arkansas State in the game’s final minute. It was the final game of the regular season. Troy then went on to defeat North Texas 50-30 in the New Orleans Bowl to secure an 11-win season, the most in Troy’s single-season D-I history.
History was made once again this season when Troy defeated Nebraska 24-19 in Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. The Trojans won at least 10 games for the third consecutive year when they defeated Buffalo 42-32 in the Dollar General Bowl, yet another school-best mark under Brown.
Brown’s tenure produced 1,000-yard backs in back-to-back seasons in Jordan Chunn and B.J. Smith, and produced 2017 NFL Draft pick Antonio Garcia. Several Trojans have been signed to NFL and professional football teams since Brown took over.
The defense in Troy’s historical three-year run has landed among the nation’s best every year and has proven to be at the top of the Sun Belt Conference week in and week out.
Attendance records were set in the 2016 and 2017 seasons as fans filled the Vet to see the Trojans play, where they lost just two combined games at home. That number expands to an extreme three total games when you include the 2018 season. When put together as a whole, the Trojans have gone 15-3 at home in the three-season span.
Only a handful of teams have won more games as a whole than Troy over the past three seasons.
Brown does not leave Troy without talent. To this point, not including February’s National Signing Day, the Trojans have already secured its best recruiting class in school history.
The wall has been rebuilt.