- Neal Brown signed an extension in April 2021
- West Virginia is 22-25 in Brown's four seasons.
- Brown is due 100% of his remaining contract if fired this year.
West Virginia athletics director Shane Lyons was fired in November 2022 because of “the football situation,” Lyons said two weeks after his dismissal.
“The football situation” was, more specifically, a two-year contract extension signed by head coach Neal Brown in April 2021.
The extension might be the only reason Lyons was fired after a five-win 2022 season — the program’s fourth straight season with six or fewer wins, all under Brown — and Brown survived the college football hot seat.
Neal Brown’s Contract: How Many Years Are Left On Brown’s Contract?
Brown has four seasons remaining on his contract. The two-year extension signed in 2021 keeps him under contract through the 2026 season.
His salary for 2023 is $4 million — up from $3.5 million in 2022 — and increases by $1 million in each of the next two years before a $2-million raise in 2026:
- 2023: $4 million
- 2024: $4.1 million
- 2025: $4.2 million
- 2026: $4.4 million
Brown is also eligible for performances bonuses, including regular-season wins:
- 8 wins: $100,000
- 9 wins: $125,000
- 10 wins: $150,000
- 11 wins: $175,000
- 12 wins: $200,000
Neal Brown’s Buyout: How Much Is Brown’s Buyout?
If fired before Dec. 31, 2024, Brown is owed 100% of the remaining contract.
For example, if Brown is fired on Nov. 26, 2023 — one day after the end of the regular season — his buyout would be approximately $13 million.
If he’s fired immediately after the 2024 regular season, his buyout would be approximately $9 million. That figure could be reduced to $7.3 million if West Virginia waits until Jan. 1, 2025, to make the move, though the history of college football coaching changes suggests waiting five weeks to save $1.7 million is unlikely.
If fired between Jan. 1, 2025 and Dec. 31, 2026, he’s owed 85% of the remaining contract.