ShaDon Brown’s new role gives ‘one voice’ to WVU’s secondary

MORGANTOWN — Technically there’s one less assistant coaching WVU’s secondary this season, but the Mountaineers believe that can be a benefit heading into 2024.

For the past three seasons, WVU has had ShaDon Brown coach the cornerbacks and Dontae Wright coach the safeties. With Wright taking the defensive coordinator job at Troy this offseason, Brown will now coach the entire group.

“If you look at my career and where I’ve been, I’ve coached the entire secondary at multiple stops at the Power 5 level,” Brown said Thursday. 

Brown, also the team’s co-defensive coordinator, will now be responsible for all three of the team’s defensive back positions — cornerback, safety and spear.

“I love having one voice in the room,” Brown said. “When I took this job, there was already a safeties coach in place and what was best for our staff was for myself to coach corners. When we had a staff change, I felt it was best to have one voice in there.”

Brown was the secondary coach at Colorado in 2017 and moved up to defensive pass game coordinator for the Buffaloes in 2018.

“Me going back and coaching the entire secondary is probably a little bit more in my comfort zone,” Brown said. “It’s going well right now and I like how it flows.”

Previously, Brown would meet with and coach just the cornerbacks and Wright would meet with and coach the safeties separately. Brown believes bringing the whole group together at once will be a positive.

“Everybody in here can say the same thing, but say it differently,” he explained. “You’re not going to say the words exactly like the guy sitting to the right or the left of you. Now there’s one voice, one way of speaking it and one way of teaching it. Now, as a whole secondary, when there’s a question or an issue, they’re coming straight to the source.”

“I feel like it’s a plus because we’re all in the same room looking at the same film at the same time,” said senior safety Anthony Wilson, entering his second season in Morgantown. “We’re getting coached the same things so there’s no miscommunication or anything like that.“

This change obviously means added duties for Brown as he is taking on an entire other position group.

“What it takes is some pre-planning,” he said. “I do a good job of utilizing my (graduate assistants) and student assistants really well. Those guys have been with us now for two years so they know exactly what I want and what I expect. It’s been pretty smooth and I’m excited about how we’re operating moving forward.”

The Mountaineers will hold their sixth spring practice inside Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday. It’s family day, as players’ families will be in the stands.


Cornerback TJ Crandall, who transferred from Colorado State this off-season, is dealing with a sore hamstring. It is not expected to be serious.

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