Former Troy defensive coordinator and West Virginia have parted ways

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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West Virginia has parted ways with former Troy defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, the Mountaineers announced on Wednesday morning.

The two sides mutually decided to part ways, after a month long investigation that began after a  player accused the coordinator of making insensitive remarks last month.

“This mutual separation is in the best interest of our football program,” said West Virginia Director of Athletics and Vice President Shane Lyons in a statement. “Coach Brown and I have set high expectations for our coaches, staff and student-athletes, and it is that culture that will allow us to compete for championships. We are moving forward as a program and our coaches, staff and student-athletes have my complete confidence and support.”

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Safety Kerry Martin Junior announced via twitter in late June that Koenning had called him “retarded” during a team drill. Martin’s social media post also included references to several incidents, including references to the recent riots. “His exact words were ‘If people did not want to get tear gassed or push back by the police then they shouldn’t be outside protesting.” Martin said in his post. “I then spoke up instantly and asked what he meant by that and he couldn’t give me a straight answer.”

“I remain apologetic to anyone who perceived something I said or did as hurtful,” Koenning said. “That was never my intent. I wish to thank all the current and former players, coaches and colleagues – of all different ethnicities and backgrounds – whose support and encouragement have been invaluable to me and my family. I am relieved the process is over but will be forever changed by the experience. Personally, I’d love to get back to coaching our guys, but I know that doing so would create additional scrutiny and lingering distractions for our program. Taking all this into consideration, we have come to this mutual decision to separate. I will always be grateful for the relationships formed with so many players, coaches and WVU supporters. I am not done coaching. I remain passionate about leading young men and look forward to the next coaching chapter in my life. I wish nothing but the best for all Mountaineers.”

West Virginia head coach and former Troy head coach Neal Brown said the decision to part ways with Koenning was not made lightly.

“As I’ve stated previously, I care deeply about Vic and every player, coach, staff member, and administrator who touches our program,” Brown said in a statement. “This decision was not made lightly and both parties agree that it places us in the best position to positively move forward. Vic has meant a lot to this program over the past 18 months and to me, personally, for our time together both here and at Troy University. I know that Vic will find continued success as a coach. However, Vic and I both reached the conclusion that the current circumstances make continuing in his role as Defensive Coordinator challenging. At the end of the day, we all – Vic included – want what is best for our program.”

Koenning was Troy’s defensive coordinator in 2003 and 2004. He returned to Troy as a defensive coordinator from 2015 until 2018.Koenning went to West Virginia in 2019 with Brown, who had been at Troy from 2015-2018.