How Pat Chun And Jonathan Smith’s Departures Have A Lot Of Similarities


Jonathan Smith leaves Oregon State for Michigan State. Chip Kelly leaving his head coach job at UCLA to be an offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Head coaches leaving their jobs for assistant jobs in the NFL.

It’s been an offseason full of moves we didn’t expect. Add Washington State athletic director Pat Chun leaving to become Washington’s athletic director to the list.

Chun is highly regarded in the AD world. He has gotten his schools a lot of money donated and had his teams have a lot of success on the court and the field.

John Canzano was talking about Chun leaving Washington State and he compared it to Jonatahn Smith leaving Oregon State. Both of the Pac-2 schools weren’t expecting these moves. Yet they happened. And it’s weird to hear Chun talk about Washington in the same way he was talking about Washington State.

“I feel for Washington State fans like I felt for Oregon State fans when Jonathan Smith left for Michigan State. Pat Chun was Washington State’s guy. He was their champion. I hear him saying the words that they (Washington) will not take a back seat and I keep thinking that was similar to the stuff he said at Washington State when Washington State was left behind.”

Canzano understands why Chun left Washington State. But how does that translate now that Chun will be in charge of one of the teams in a conference? Will Chun help out the Cougars get games with Washington? Will he try to get Washington State into a conference? Or is it all going to be about Washington and their future?

“I think he’s a good guy. I think he’s a smart guy and I understand why he did it. I still think it’s going to be weird to see him in Purple and see him representing one of the haves after being with the have nots and being one of the tentpole voices among the Pac-2 conference. One of the four most important people as they were striving to rebuild the conference. I’ll be interested to see if Pat Chun has some empathy for Washington State plight. I’ll be interested to see if Washington schedules Washington State in a way might not otherwise in football. I’ll be interested to see if he and some others who have gone off to the Big 10 conference who understand what Oregon State and understand what Washington State are up against. I’ll be curious to see if that manifests itself if at all.”

Canzano thinks it’s ok that Chun and Smith left their jobs. But they didn’t do what they set out to do.

“I think we understand what Pat Chun did in much the same way that I think all of us now kind of look at Jonathan Smith did and say, ‘he did what was best for himself, maybe his family, but he didn’t do what’s best for the mission he sold to players and athletes inside the athletics department.”

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