Pay Raises for Michalczik, Assistants, Keeps OSU Culture Train Moving.


A head coach is only as good as his staff.

Well, maybe that’s not an actual saying in college football. But it doesn’t hurt to have continuity and quality on a coaching staff.

Oregon State certainly thinks so. They rewarded key assistant coaches with significant raises in salary for 2023, according to the Oregonian’s Nick Daschel.

Daschel joined John Canzano on 750 The Game and laid out some of the details he uncovered in his piece.

Jim Michalczik, Oregon State’s run game coordinator and offensive line coach, as well as associate head coach to Jonathan Smith, received the largest pay increase among the assistants. Michalczik will make $775,000 in 2023, a $200,000 raise for one of the top offensive line coaches in the nation.

The raise makes Michalczik the second-highest-paid assistant coach on Smith’s staff, behind only offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren.

“It’s pretty clear that Jim Michalczik was Job One on this group, making sure that he’s happy, and staying here,” Daschel told Canzano. “That’s the biggest salary increase I think I remember under Smith during his tenure here.

“They clearly want to make him happy. And he’s pretty easy to keep happy. But there’s no point in taking any chances. Because as we know, that offensive line is what makes that team go.”

Was Michalczik being contacted by other programs or teams hoping to revitalize their rushing attack? Daschel said perhaps, but regardless, it is a wise move by Oregon State to reward him.

“I think they’re being proactive,” Daschel said. “He’s been around a while, people know who he is, I don’t know for sure if people went after him.

“But I am surprised they only lost one coach off this staff. I mean, the combination of the culture at that place and the fact that they keep raising salaries… they’re keeping people happy.”

Oregon State’s assistant coaches salary pool is now up to $4.75 Million, an $820,000 increase from last season, per Daschel.

That is also an increase of $2.2 Million since Gary Andersen left Corvallis in the 2017 season.

Where is that money coming from? Daschel said the renovations on Reser Stadium will produce new revenue streams for the program to pull from.

“They see the revenue that that place is going to throw off, the interest in football that this program has generated in the last few years,” Daschel said. “And they see the dollars increasing. And the best way to keep this thing going is to keep this staff in place. And you saw how quickly those luxury boxes and suites went up at Reser, they weren’t cheap at all, and they were gone quickly.”

Culture and continuity are the main ingredients for the success of Jonathan Smith’s program. The salary bumps are part of what makes it all work.

“At this point it’s just starting to be a broken record,” said Daschel. “I think we talk about this almost every year. They don’t lose many players because they just love being in this program. And it’s obviously not for everybody. Oregon attracts a different kind of athlete than Oregon State. But Oregon State has found their niche. They’ve got coaches that know how to coach and teach. They’re demanding but they’re not overbearing. They let guys live their lives and let them become adults. And it’s worked.

“I think Oregon State might have been the only team in the Pac-12 that didn’t lose a single player during the second transfer portal window. I’m only counting scholarship guys, I don’t think any scholarship guys left. I’m not saying somebody might leave eventually. But nobody has left. And that speaks to how guys love to be in this program.”

Daschel also pointed out that strength and conditioning coach Mike McDonald got a pay raise up to $450,000 for 2023. That is not counted in the assistant coaches salary pool as McDonald technically is not an assistant coach, though his impact is certainly felt throughout the program.

“Behind the coordinators and Michalzik he’s the next highest-paid guy,” noted Daschel about McDonald. “And it’s important what he’s done. His job that he’s done is as important as anybody else there, because he’s got these guys in shape and the offseason program is humming and they’re willing to pay for it.”

It is another reason for fans to feel good about the direction of the program under Jonathan Smith.

Listen to the full conversation with Nick Daschel on John Canzano’s Bald Faced Truth at the podcast below.

Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.