By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
Oregon State is building something good in Corvallis.
Hard-nosed. Smart. Strong culture.
Those are just a few things that describe the Beavers and how they achieved success during the Jonathan Smith era.
With success, often comes losses. Assistant coaches and coordinators move around in college football a ton because they are looking for a bigger payday and it’s understandable. But Smith has done a very good job at retaining his assistants and coordinators, especially coming off of a 10-win season.
John Canzano says that there is a reason why Smith has been able to hold on to a lot of the coaches.
“Oregon State’s entire coaching staff got big raises,” Canzano said on 750 The Game. “Increased their salary pool to $4.75 million for next season. And 10 assistant coaches got increases. The biggest among them, Jim Michalczik, the offensive line, run game coordinator, got a sizable raise and deservedly so.”
When you’re Oregon State, the littlest thing can hurt the program whether it’s a player or coach leaving. But the continuity on the OSU coaching staff helps give Smith a leg up on some of his competition in the Pac-12.
“The retention of Jonathan Smith’s staff has been a real highlight,” Canzano said. “It’s one more thing he doesn’t have to worry about. Unlike Jake Dickert at Washington State, Jonathan Smith didn’t have to replace an offensive and defensive coordinator. He can focus on recruiting and coaching his team.”
Oregon State basketball was in the news this week as assistant coach, Tim Shelton, left the program and stated that it had to do with a lack of NIL involvement compared to the competition.
By contrast, Smith has retained the vast majority of his roster, helped by keeping coaches on his staff that have a good relationship with the players.
“It’s a big advantage,” says Canzano. “It helps with keeping players from jumping in the portal. The lack of a collective at Oregon State, if that is true what Tim Shelton is saying as he leaves for Colorado State, then credit to Jonathan Smith who lost fewer players in the portal than any program this past football season.”
Is it sustainable for Jonathan Smith and Oregon State to hold on to these coordinators and assistant coaches?
“I think so, to a point,” said Canzano. “Brian Lindgren, the offensive coordinator, is going to want a job somewhere. But these guys came up with Jonathan Smith. Trent Bray came up with Jonathan Smith. That’s his guy. I think he’s picked guys who want to be loyal, are prone to be loyal. He’s now rewarding them with more money. Ultimately they are going to want opportunities. So, no it’s not a forever thing. But it’s the closest thing to forever that we’re seeing in college football right now.”
It’s a different world in college sports now. Oregon State and Jonathan Smith seem to have a good strategy when it comes to winning football games. It’s not always about the talent. It’s about the culture.
Listen to the segment at the 2:03:00 mark in the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.