The saying in coaching is “you’re hired only to be fired”. Right now, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle could be looking at the fired part of that saying. Whether or not it happens tomorrow, next week, next month it is a precarious spot to be in if you are Coach Tinkle.
The expectations for the Beavers this year were to be in the upper half of the Pac-12 Conference, getting to the NCAA Tournament for only the second time since 1990, and recruiting players to continue to build a once proud program.
It has not happened for Oregon State.
Who is to blame for this underachieving team?
There is plenty of blame to spread around in Corvallis, but for me it’s Coach Tinkle.
I will admit that I was not a fan of the hire from the beginning. There were plenty of people that were asking who Wayne Tinkle was and where he was from. I was hoping for Oregon State to make a bigger splash hire for the program.
I know that the Beaver program is not a top level program in the country, but the best they could do is a coach from Montana? No other top assistants in a Power 5 Conference were approached?
If you don’t shoot for the moon you end up with only cosmic dust.
Wayne Tinkle Oregon State record:
2019-2020: 12-8 (so far this season) (2-6 in conference right now)
This record screams mediocrity.
Coach Tinkle got the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament during the 2015-2016 season. The team was led by Gary Payton Jr. It was the first time Oregon State had made the tournament since the early 1990’s when the original Gary Payton was growling at players in Corvallis.
So with a slightly below .500 mark Coach Tinkle has underperformed with this team. For the first time in awhile the Beavers have players that are veterans in the Pac-12. Experience should count for something. It hasn’t paid off at all.
It is Coach Tinkle’s responsibility to get his team ready to play. It is Coach Tinkle’s responsibility to recruit players that are Pac-12 players. As of right now I can’t say that has happened.
The team looks unmotivated, slow, completely overmatched on the court and in the coaching box. Watching them on the court is a tough watch. Other teams are playing with a greater sense of urgency. The Beavers are playing like they don’t care if they win or not. I know that is probably not what the players or coaches would say, but perception is reality.
You ask any Beaver fan and their frustration is just about tapped out on this team. Beaver Believers want a team that they can brag about, be proud of, or look forward to watching. None of that is happening for many Oregon State fans.
Right now those same Beaver fans are asking: “When does the baseball start?”
At the end of the season, Oregon State AD, Scott Barnes, needs to take a long look at what he wants out of his basketball program. If he truly honest with himself he is going to have to make a change with the coaching staff. Barnes is also going to have to hire a search firm to find a splash hire. The new coach will need to have Power 5 experience either as coach or being a top assistant. Whoever gets brought in will also have to be a great recruiter as well.
Is there a coach out there that will fit those characteristics?
There is and the Beaver brass will have to work hard to find that coach. It’s going to take diligence.
Another part of this is that the Beaver Athletic Department will have to come to grips with is spending the money necessary to get a quality coach.
Look, I’m not saying that Coach Tinkle is a bad guy or anything. It is just time to move on. The Tinkle era has been one of mediocrity. As I stated earlier, it’s time to shoot for the moon for a new coach. No more thinking that being average is ok.
It’s not ok.
Building this once proud program is going to take a while and the fans will have to show patience, but the fans will be patient if they see tangible progress.
If the team is competing, winning more games than the previous year, and playing with energy then the fans will get excited about the Beaver program.
Look at what Jonathan Smith is doing with the football program culture.
A change is needed in Corvallis. The sooner, the better.