In a shocking move Gary Andersen walked out on the football program at Oregon State. The move took his coaches, players, alumni, media, and just about everybody else by surprise on Monday morning.
Why leave now?
Good question. Only Gary Andersen knows the real reason and in the following weeks and months I sure hope he explains his reasoning. I hope he does, but he doesn’t have to explain anything.
The 2017 football season has been a unmitigated disaster for Oregon State. The Beavers have not been competitive in many of the games that the team has played so far this season. The only game the Beavers were competitive in was a last minute win, the only win for them, against Portland State back in September.
Every other game has been a blowout. I was in Corvallis to watch the Beavers and Huskies a couple of weeks ago. There wasn’t really any doubt about the outcome of the game, but I wondered how competitive the Beavers would try and make the game. The Beavers made it a 7-0 game for a half and then the bottom fell out.
Coach Andersen in recent weeks has been in a state of disbelief as to how bad the team has played. He’s voiced his displeasure with himself and his assistant coaches. When Coach Andersen started calling out his assistants in a public way that raised my eyebrows. That told me that there was something brewing below the surface with Gary Andersen.
Seeing him walk away from the football program certainly didn’t enter my thoughts. I liked the passion he brought to the program when he was hired from Wisconsin. Sometimes that passion a coach has can also work against him and cause burnout.
That may have been what happened in Corvallis.
That’s only speculation on my part though.
The hire of Coach Andersen was just as big of a shock as the announcement today that he was leaving.
He was solid hire for the Beaver football program. He raised hopes among the fans of the Beavers. He created momentum for a program that desperately needed it.
The football team finally beat their arch rival Oregon last season in The Civil War. The Beavers had all sorts of momentum heading into this year. The coaches and players just could not capitalize on that momentum.
According to many who cover the program. Gary Andersen chased off a lot of good Mike Riley recruits that had planned on coming to Corvallis. I get that you want your “guys”, but you need talent to cut down on the amount of time it takes to turn around the program.
Like Coach Andersen would say, “Coaches coach, players make plays.” He didn’t have enough players to make those plays.
Another point of contention with Andersen was that there was money that had been designated for facilities that had been frozen for some reason. Everybody knows that you have to be competitive in the facilities arms race. If you’re not, kiss those big recruits good-bye.
Especially with the facilities monster down in Eugene setting the tone for the conference and the college football world.
It’s tough to win in Corvallis, no way around that fact. Small town, not really close to any huge city, and the closest airport is in the city of your in-state rival.
Gary Andersen is gone. Nothing we can do, but look forward and wonder what the administration does in terms of the next hire for the football program.
Cory Hall was named the interim head coach. In theory Coach Hall is auditioning for a possible interview.
I don’t think he gets the job. The team has looked like a deer in headlights this season and I don’t the powers that be want a coach associated with that.
Could this be the time that Washington Husky OC, Jonathan Smith, a former Oregon State quarterback get his shot at being a head coach on the Power 5 level?
He played quarterback for Oregon State from 1998-2001, where he helped lead the Beavers to a Fiesta Bowl berth. In that game, the Beavers destroyed Notre Dame and finished ranked in the top five in the country. It was the best finish in the history of Oregon State University.
Smith would be instantly popular with Oregon State fans. He has orchestrated the powerful Washington Husky offense over the course of the past few seasons. Granted, he has had plenty of quality players to use in that Husky offense, but he is still the one in control of it.
However, the one thing he would be able to do, in my opinion, would be to coach up the quarterbacks or to recruit a quality quarterback to Oregon State. He’s been a quarterbacks coach every where he has been as a coach, so he knows a thing or two about quarterbacks.
I’ve heard Jim Leavitt, defensive coordinator, at Oregon. Not sure how that would go over with the Beaver faithful. Leavitt certainly would be bring a top quality coach to a team that needs a defensive presence.
At this point, it is all hearsay.
Whatever the direction Oregon State goes, it will need to be a solid hire. It needs to create buzz around the school and among the alumni. The program needs to be brought out of the depths of the Pac-12 Conference. I am a Beaver alumni and want the best for my school and will be looking with anticipation to see who they bring in.
The administration needs to get this hire right. Period.