CORVALLIS – Now that Gary Andersen is no longer the head football coach at Oregon State, the landscape immediately changes to who will replace him?
Yes, OSU assistant coach Cory Hall has been elevated to interim coach, but it would take a remarkable turnaround in the second half of the season for Hall to be in the pool of candidates. The way the Beavers (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) are playing, don’t expect that to happen.
OSU athletic director Scott Barnes said that a national search has begun to appoint a new head coach for the 2018 season.
Here’s a few names that could surface:
Current position: Co-offensive coordinator at Washington, quarterback coach
Positives: Wast the Beavers’ starting quarterback from 1998-2001, which included the 2000 squad that finished 11-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl. He served as a graduate assistant in 2002 and 2003, first under Dennis Erickson and then Mike Riley. He’s young and has strong ties to the program.
Negatives: Smith has never been a head coach at the college level.
Scott Frost (pictured)
Current position: Head coach, University of Central Florida
Positives: Took over a program that was winless in 2015 and led the Knights to a bowl game in his first season. They are currently 4-0 and ranked No. 21 in the USA TODAY coaches’ poll. Frost spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Oregon and was offensive coordinator from 2013-2015, working with Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. He has recruiting ties in the Pac-12.
Negatives: He is considered a strong candidate to become the next head coach at his alma mater Nebraska.
Current position: Head coach, University of South Florida
Positives: Strong had a 37-15 in four seasons at Louisville, which led to his hiring at Texas. In his first year at South Florida, the Bulls are 5-0 and ranked No. 15.
Negatives: Strong was run out of Texas after three losing seasons. Would he be interested in leaving South Florida to take over a rebuilding project in the Pac-12?
Current position: ESPN analyst for NFL/NCAA football
Positives: Kelly would bring huge name recognition and strong ties to the Pac-12 after serving as head coach at Oregon from 2009-12. The Ducks were 46-9 in his tenure and reached the BCS national championship game in the 2010 season. Has the added of experience of being an NFL head coach in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Negatives: Kelly’s name figures to surface among many openings in the NFL and college in the coming months. The Beavers couldn’t afford his price tag.
Current position: Head coach, Nebraska
Positives: Riley grew up in Corvallis and led the Beavers to eight bowl games during his two stints as head coach, encompassing 14 seasons.
Negatives: Riley won only 10 games once during his tenure at OSU in 2006 and he left the program on a down note after the 2014 season. Hiring Riley would be a return to the past, and most OSU fans would like to see a fresh start. He is on the hot seat at Nebraska, with a record of 18-14 in two-plus seasons.
Current position: Head coach, San Diego State
Positives: Long has done an outstanding job in his six-plus season at San Diego State with a 60-26 overall record and six consecutive bowl game appearances. He was defensive coordinator at Oregon State from 1991-95.
Negatives: Long would likely not be considered a long-term solution at the age of 67.
ghorowitz@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/ghorowitz
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