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Jonathan Smith Comes Home to Oregon State

Smith takes the reigns of the Beaver football program

Oregon State v Washington State X

Things happen for a reason. For Jonathan Smith, ending up in Corvallis as the new head coach for the Oregon State Beavers, was something that was supposed to happen for him. Jonathan has been planning for this ever since he got into coaching.

“It is great to be home.” Smith said as he opened his press conference on Thursday morning.

Yes, it is Jonathan. It is great to have you back in Corvallis as the head football coach of the Beaver program.

Coach Smith comes from the University of Washington where he was the offensive coordinator.

Once former Beaver coach Gary Andersen walked out on the program Jonathan Smith’s name became one that was bounced around as a possible replacement.

Over the next seven weeks, the Beaver Athletic Director Scott Barnes, played everything close to the vest. However, when it came time to make the decision, Jonathan Smith was the guy that stood out.

To say that Jonathan Smith has a big job in front of him would be an understatement. The Oregon State players have been through a lot this year. The season was a difficult one with not winning a conference games, having their coach walk out, and having now to deal a new staff coming in. What are these players looking for?


Oregon State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“We need to create that trust with the players.” Smith said.

I couldn’t agree more Coach Smith.

The Oregon State players need to feel like their coaches are going to be there for them. Once the players get to know their coach, they will see that Coach Smith will be that guy that will stick with them through the good times and the bad times.

Jonathan Smith is the definition of what the Beaver program is all about. He’s gritty, tough, and won’t back down to anybody.

“OSU fits me and I fit OSU. In regards to the town, a place to raise some kids, a place to go to school, and to be involved in the community.” Smith exclaimed.

Jonathan Smith is a guy that believes winning is possible at Oregon State and that he’s the perfect guy to do it. He’s lived it, won at OSU, and gone to school there. Smith knows the challenges that the school has had in the past, but also knows that winning has happened there in the past and has a vision for a return to the winning ways.

“I know I can sell this place.” Smith said about getting players to come to Corvallis.

“We are going to go out and compete.” Smith said matter-of-factly.

One of the first things Coach Smith is going to do is change the culture of the program. Needless to say, the culture does need a reset. Confidence is down about the program after this past season. There is no other way to put it.

“I know what it’s like to transition, to change a culture.” Smith exclaimed.

He does know what that is like.

Coach Smith was with Husky head coach Chris Petersen when they came to Seattle to take over the Husky program that had been struggling.

Dennis Erickson

Let’s not forget that he was part of the culture change at Oregon State with Mike Riley and Dennis Erickson. He has won in Corvallis as a player and he knows it’ll be tough, but that it can be done.

“I’ve lived it. I’ve coached it and now we need to go get it done.” Smith said.

Sign me up.

One of the keys that has to happen for Jonathan Smith to be successful has to be his ability to go get some top notch assistants.

Oregon State has had difficulty in their ability to spend money to get quality assistants. During the press conference, Oregon State AD Scott Barnes, told the assembled crowd that there would be a “mighty increase” in the money available to pay the assistants.

The mighty increase was announced on Friday. There will $3.3 million available for Coach Smith to get who he wants to call his offense and defense. That is music to the ears of Beaver fans.

Who does Coach Smith want to target? That’s a good question.

We will see names being thrown out there over the course of the next few days. The hires that Jonathan Smith will be crucial to the success he has at Oregon State.

Beaver AD Scott Barnes, said he knew of the legend of Jonathan Smith when he started going through the vetting process for Smith. Mr. Barnes, you just gave the keys to the program to a guy that understands what it takes to win at Oregon State. Now, give him what he needs to be successful.

I promise you if you do, you won’t be disappointed.