Brown wants to have fun in W.Va.
Michigan, Harbaugh hire Gattis away from Alabama
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — New West Virginia coach Neal Brown’s lighthearted approach to football is forever captured in a 2016 dance video at Troy.
Brown dabbed while his players and assistants showed off their moves in the video that was part of a spring competition among Troy athletic coaching staffs.
“My 10-year-old said I was way off,” Brown said Thursday at his introductory news conference at West Virginia. “That video was supposed to be shown one time at the awards ceremony and never come out of the vault again. It may be the most watched video in Troy football history.”
It’s that fun atmosphere that Brown holds dear and carries with him to Morgantown. He was hired last Saturday to replace Dana Holgorsen, who became coach at Houston.
“I just don’t want to be miserable,” Brown said. “I look at so many people in this profession, the pressure is high. But at the end of the day, we’re coaching football. C’mon, I’m around young people all day. I approach it that way. Let’s have fun. I think if you look at what Clemson’s done. There’s nobody having more fun than Dabo Swinney right now.”
Brown is bringing some of the fun with him. Troy defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will have the same role with the Mountaineers, and a few other assistant hires made by Brown will be announced once their contracts are signed.
Brown will be tasked with competing for a Big 12 championship that the Mountaineers have failed to snare since joining the league in 2012. He inherits a team that finished 8-4 and faces a rebuilding year in 2019.
Brown went 35-16 in four seasons at Troy, including 3-0 in bowl games.
CLEMSON: Clemson’s national championship front four is off to the NFL.
All-American defensive end Clelin Ferrell made it a clean sweep of top-round prospects, joining All-American tackle Christian Wilkins, tackle Dexter Lawrence and end Austin Bryant in heading to the draft.
Ferrell, Wilkins and Bryant all passed on the pros last season for a final year in college. And the group made it count with a 15-0 season and a 44-16 beatdown of Alabama in the national title game Monday night.
MICHIGAN: Coach Jim Harbaugh hired Josh Gattis away from Alabama to be his offensive coordinator after losing assistants Greg Mattison and Al Washington to Ohio State on consecutive days this week.
And, Harbaugh gave Gattis a title on Thursday no one had last year when he said playing-calling was a collaborative effort.
Gattis, 34, had the title of co-offensive coordinator last season for the Crimson Tide, though former UNM head coach Mike Locksley had the offensive coordinator title and responsibilities.
TROY: Former Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey is the new head coach. He was hired away from Kansas, where he had been announced as OC on Dec. 4.
OHIO STATE: Quarterback Tate Martell has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal, The Associated Press reported. Martell listing his name means schools are free to talk to him about a potential transfer.
Martell, who will be a third-year sophomore, sat behind record-smashing quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. last season. Haskins left early for the NFL draft, but then Ohio State lured Georgia transfer Justin Fields to compete for the starting spot.
OREGON STATE: QB Jake Luton has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. He has started in just nine games for the Beavers since his first season in 2017 because of injuries. CENTRAL FLORIDA: Quarterback McKenzie Milton posted a video on Instagram documenting the latest step of his remarkable recovery from a catastrophic knee injury that nearly led to the amputation of his leg.
He leg-pressed 40 pounds using his injured leg, demonstrating the progress he has made since a hit during UCF’s win at USF on Black Friday dislocated his knee and caused nerve damage.