West Virginia safety speaks out against team's DC, former Illinois staffer
West Virginia safety Kerry Martin Jr. took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to talk about a series of insensitive comments and actions involving the team’s defensive coordinator Vic Koenning.
Koenning, who has been involved with coaching for 35 years, was a defensive coordinator at Illinois in 2010 and 2011.
Martin released a long statement on Twitter on Tuesday to address some of Koenning’s behavior. He said that the comments and actions from the defensive coordinator, as well as the current climate in the country, should prompt change within the Mountaineers football program moving forward.
“I myself have dealt with mistreatment and racism growing up in West Virginia, but I never would’ve thought I would deal with it while at a school I’m supposed to be able to call home with my own position coach, Vic Koenning,” Martin wrote.
Martin went on to say that “No, coach Vic is not a bad person and he does mean well in many (different) aspects but his heinous actions towards us (overrule) the good things he has done and many of us are uncomfortable with being around him.”
I’ve been contemplating about posting but we need a change in our program. pic.twitter.com/40hZYXjxib
— Kerry “KJ” Martin Jr.🌹 (@KMartinJr11) June 23, 2020
Also in the post, Martin said he previously did not want to spring out because he didn’t want to bring negative attention to the program.
Koenning joined the West Virginia coaching staff as the defensive coordinator in 2019, when Neal Brown took the head coaching job. Koenning had previously worked with Brown at Troy, as well.
Before those two stops, Koenning was the defensive coordinator at Illinois from 2010-11 under Ron Zook. He was also the interim head coach for the Illini’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl game against UCLA. Illinois won the game 20-14.
Koenning was also a head coach at Wyoming from 2000-02.