Neal Brown is expected to be announced as the new Troy University head coach as early as Monday according to this report by SI.com and this article by Football Scoop. The contract is reported to be a five-year deal worth 3.5 Million Dollars. For Brown this is a full circle move for him as he was hired into FBS by the man he will be replacing in Larry Blakeney. SBNation.com also has the story here.
Brown came to Troy as a receiver's coach, the position he played at Kentucky, and quickly moved up to offensive coordinator and ripe age of 28. Soon after, he would move to Lubbock to become the Offensive Coordinator on Tommy Tubberville's staff at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were in the top 15 nationally in offense during Brown's tenure there.
When Coach Mark Stoops took over the Kentucky job there were rumblings that Brown had some head coaching opportunity on the horizon, so the stay as the Offensive Coordinator here was unlikely to be a lengthy one anyway.
While many people have criticized Brown's offense while at Kentucky (a lot of it understandable), he did move the ‘Cats up 44 spots nationally during his two years here. Brown is also a UK guy; he came from Danville, KY and bleeds blue. Anytime you have one leave the family it is important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture before harsh criticism and good riddance reigns supreme.
Brown is going to be the second youngest head coach in the FBS at 34 years of age. The Big Blue Nation should wish him well at his next stop and hope that he only improves as a coach because you know that Brown will always have a piece of his heart in Lexington. My point is that one day we may be courting him to come back to Lexington one day and who would not want a former player and Kentucky boy to come back and take over the reigns of a finally tuned machine at a young age.
Before you say it, I know... we tried that once, apples and oranges though.
Brown is unlikely to raid the UK staff in his move either; he is very familiar with the current Troy staff and could end up retaining a number of the staff in the move. I also asked resident recruiting guru Patrick Loney if he thought the move would hurt us with any of our current recruits and his response was pretty simple.
@_KeithGarrett I don't think so— Patrick Loney (@PatrickLoney) November 29, 2014
One of the things you always want to do in any successful venture is learn from the past, but move to the future as quick as possible and never look in the rear-view mirror. My point is there is no use analyzing Brown's time at UK and trying to break the man down so let us simply move on, wish the fellow BBN member success. What we can do though, is speculate like crazy on the next offensive coordinator that is going to be the fortunate one to inherit the following offense:
- Basically an entire O-line that redshirted (DEPTH)
- Drew Barker or Towles
- BOOM Williams and maybe a kid just down I-75?
- Ryan Timmons, Dorian Baker, Blake Bone, Thaddeus Snodgrass, TV Williams, and Garrett Johnson
- CJ Conrad and Darryl Long
MY personal opinion is it is enough with the "Air Raid" junk; I would love to see a solid pro-style offensive guru come in. At the very least something predicated on downfield attacking and a balance to the playmakers vs. a seemingly Tecmo Bowl playbook.
Some of the names being tossed around (h/t to Patrick Loney) are:
Names that have popped around is Cincy OC Eddie Gran, Miami OC James Coley, OKie St OC Mike Yurcich and ECU OC Lincoln Riley— Patrick Loney (@PatrickLoney) November 29, 2014
- Miami OC James Coley (If he sounds familiar, he nearly came with Stoops from FSU)
We are in for an interesting off-season and I am eager to see what Coach Stoops has in store for us. This coming year is going to be the most important coaching season of his career in my opinion, so I think we will see him shore up a lot of deficiencies and make that leap forward.