Oregon State Needs To Act Fast To Figure Out Jonathan Smith’s Successor


The Oregon State football head coach position is open for the first time since 2018 as Jonathan Smith is officially heading to Michigan State. It puts the Beavers in a very tough position of what comes next.

John Canzano knows that it’s going to be a complete scramble this week for the Beavers. The transfer portal opens on December 4th and in the world of college football, NIL and the transfer portal both play a huge role. Canzano says the Beavers have to move fast.

“Oregon State knows it has to scramble this week,” Canzano said Monday on 750 The Game. “It’s going to have to hire a coach, or at least agree in principle, have a handshake before the end of the week, because you’re going to have to go into the weekend with this coach able to recruit, able to tell current players, talk to Damien Martinez, talk to Aidan Chiles, talk to some of the other players on the roster, and sell them on the vision at Oregon State.”

Next Monday is a major deadline for OSU to find resolution, says Canzano.

“Oregon State knows that December 4th is the transfer portal opening. That is kind of the target date where everything has to be in place. You have to know who you’re playing in 2024. You have to know what you’re doing this season. You have to know who you’re coach is. You need to know who you have coming back. You need to have a real handle on things come Monday, December 4th when that portal opens.”

The question in college football especially is do you go out and hire someone with a connection to the school? At a place like Oregon State is seems like a lot of fans want a coach who is familiar with Corvallis. Canzano says it’s a must.

“Oregon State is going to have to hire someone it knows,” says Canzano. “It has to have that immediate familiarity. It has to have somebody that it knows and somebody that knows it.”

So who does that leave? If the next head coach of Oregon State needs to have ties to Oregon State, Canzano laid out three candidates, all of whom have coached at some point in their career at Oregon State.

“You got Trent Bray, the defensive coordinator, who Oregon State knows. He knows Oregon State. He knows the challenges. He is candidate one in my mind. Candidate two is Brent Brennan head coach at San Jose State. Also a guy who has coached at Oregon State. Whose staff is filled with Oregon State product. Candidate three is a guy like Paul Chryst, the former Wisconsin coach. Of course there are some knocks on him. He is now currently at Texas working as a analyst. I don’t know. Is he a head coach? Is he an offensive coordinator? But I kind of also wonder, from a stand point of fall back guys he is choice three on the board, that’s not a bad position to be in if you’re Oregon State.”

It’s a very important hire for Oregon State. With all the uncertainty of which conference will the Beavers be in, the head coach position needs to be stable. Whether it’s one of the three Canzano mentioned or it’s someone else, the Beavers need someone who sees a path to a Power 4 conference.

Listen to the full segment at the very start of the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.