MORGANTOWN—A month after a social media post by WVU sophomore safety Kerry Martin Jr. detailed the mistreatment that he received from West Virginia defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, the university and Koenning have mutually agreed to separate, the school announced on Wednesday.
In Martin’s post, he alleged that Koenning called him “retarded” during a team workout earlier last month and also made inappropriate comments about religion, politics, and the recent protests against racism and police brutality.
Koenning, who was placed on administrative leave following the allegations, issued an apology a day after Martin’s post. He apologized again on Wednesday.
“I remain apologetic to anyone who perceived something I said or did as hurtful. 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.”
In a statement released by WVU head coach Neal Brown, the decision to part ways with Koenning “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,” expressed Brown. “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.”
West Virginia University Athletic Director Shane Lyons also made a statement regarding the release of Koenning.
“This mutual separation is in the best interest of our football program,” stated Lyons. “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.”
Koenning joined West Virginia’s staff in 2019 after working at Troy from 2015 to 2018 under Brown in the same role. He also spent three seasons as Wyoming’s head coach and was Illinois’ interim head coach in 2011.
He will be paid $591,451 as part of a separation agreement, which equates to 55% of the remaining value for the two years that remained on his contract.