Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith has accepted the head coaching job at Michigan State, the school announced on Saturday. Smith went 34-35 overall at OSU, where he was a four-year starter at quarterback from 1998-2001, with a 25-13 record over the last three seasons.
The Beavers closed out a 8-4 season last night with a loss to Oregon, but overall Smith completely rebuilt things at his alma mater. After going just 2-10 (1-8) in 2018, Smith led the Beavers to a 10-win season in 2022 (their first since 2006) and finished that year ranked #17 in both polls. The team was ranked as high as #10 this year and were dark horse Pac-12 contenders before losing to Washington and Oregon, who will play each other for the final league title, in the season’s last two weeks.
“Jonathan has a proven track record of success,” AD Alan Haller said in a statement, “building the Oregon State program from the ground up by implementing a plan resulting in sustained historic success for the Beavers. He’s been a part of championship staffs, coached in the College Football playoff, and understands what’s required to be successful at the highest level, learning from some of the game’s most successful coaches.”
While he had the honor of taking his alma mater to new heights, the Oregon State program faces great uncertainty in 2024 and beyond as one of two programs – along with Washington State – who were not invited to other power conferences during the latest round of realignment. The future of the Pac-12 is very much in the air and the make-up of the Beavers schedule is a giant question mark at this point. Smith will move on to the Big Ten, where he will continue to face off against rival Oregon, as well as Washington, USC, UCLA and all of the long-standing powers in the Midwest.
credit to Michigan State Athletics for the image