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Oregon State hires former Beavers QB Smith as coach

  • In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 file photo, Washington offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith looks on during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Utah in Seattle. A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Oregon State has hired Washington co-offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith to be its new head coach. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 on condition of anonymity because an official announcement was being finalized. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) Ted S. Warren

  • In this Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1999 file photo, Oregon State head football coach Dennis Erickson talks strategy with quarterback Jonathan Smith during practice in Corvallis, Ore. A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Oregon State has hired Washington co-offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith to be its new head coach. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 on condition of anonymity because an official announcement was being finalized. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File) DON RYAN



Associated Press
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jonathan Smith is returning to where he started.

Washington’s co-offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith has been hired by Oregon State to be the Beavers’ new head coach, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal and an official announcement was being finalized. The move was first reported by The Oregonian.

Smith is a former Beavers quarterback who has been working as quarterbacks coach for coach Chris Petersen since 2012, starting at Boise State and following him to Washington in 2014.

He also had stops as an assistant at Montana and Idaho. He was a graduate assistant at Oregon State from 2002-03.

Smith was a walk-on in Corvallis, playing for the Beavers from 1998-2001. He was on Oregon State’s 2000 team that went 11-1 and defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl under Coach Dennis Erickson.

A fan favorite during his playing days, Smith ranks third on Oregon State’s career list with 55 touchdown passes and 9,680 passing yards.

Oregon State has been in the market for a new coach since Gary Andersen surprisingly stepped down in early October after a 1-5 start, with the victory coming over lower-division Portland State.

The Beavers promoted cornerbacks coach Corry Hall as interim head coach. Hall appeared to inspire the team, which challenged Stanford in a close 15-14 loss. And a group of players started an online petition supporting Hall, as well as a Twitter hashtag #HALLin.

But Hall’s connection to the players didn’t translate to wins. The Beavers wrapped up the season with a 69-10 loss to rival Oregon in the Civil War rivalry game to finish 1-11 overall and 0-9 in conference.

“I feel very positive about the future of that football team in there,” Hall said following the Civil War loss outside the Beavers’ locker room, “because I know they’ve learned a lot and I know they’ll be in good hands.”

Hall’s status on the staff with Smith as head coach is not known.

“It definitely took a toll on us,” senior linebacker Manase Hungalu said about the season and Andersen’s abrupt departure. “It was definitely a situation you would not want the players to be in halfway through the season. It’s tough for the players, it’s tough for the whole community.”