With the holidays winding down, and my schedule freeing back up again, I just wanted to recap what has been the most exciting December for Beaver Nation in years. with the departure of Mike Riley to Nebraska, the department took the opportunity to reboot the whole franchise, so to speak, of the Oregon State Beavers. Dr. Ray and Bob DeCarolis aggressively pursued not only a huge increase in funding for their facilities, but also laid the groundwork for taking a huge step forward in coaching. They created a vision that boosters could get behind in order to bring in the money required to compete in the toughest conference, top to bottom, in the nation.
They rewarded that donor base with the biggest hire, and series of hires, since Dennis Erickson prior to the 1999 season. Not only did OSU land the most unexpected big name they could have landed in Gary Andersen, but Andersen has since put together a staff of amazing and dynamic coaches. Consider the following:
Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
In his last two seasons at Colorado State, Baldwin amassed over 6200 yards per season and averaged over 33 points a season. This year he oversaw a 4000 yard passer and 1200 yard rusher for the Rams. He was also a very successful Offensive Coordinator at Cincinnati, Michigan State, New Mexico and Utah State.
Kevin McGiven, Quarterbacks Coach
The former Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach for Utah State, McGiven orchestrated a very dynamic offense that had over 2500 yards passing and rushing even though McGiven had to work with four different quarterbacks this season. They had four different players get over 400 yards rushing and seven that got over 100.
T.J. Woods, Offensive Line
I have already posted about Woods, but another coach on teams that have architected consecutive 6000 yard seasons and rushing powerhouses. Woods also gets players ready in a hurry, having multiple all conference and freshmen All-American linemen.
Brent Brennan, Wide Receivers
We know all about Brent, and while he has been a great coach for the Beavers, he also is a plus recruiter.
Kalani Sitake, Defensive Coordinator
In conference Rival has always had a ridiculously tough defense, one that ranked as highly as their offense would allow. This year they led the conference in sacks and in the past has had one of the toughest front sevens in the conference.
Chad Kauha’aha’a, Defensive Line
Chad’s defensive lines have been responsible for top 5 defenses against the run, yards per game, yards per play and his defense held all 13 teams they faced below their rushing average for the season.
Ilaisa Tuikai, Linebackers
Ilaisa is a up and coming recruiter and coach who led the Utah defensive line to the conference lead in sacks in 2014 and has coached 3 All Pac-12 defensive linemen in two years.
Derrick Odum, Defensive Backs
Had 4 top 20 national rankings in takeaways as a defensive backs coach at SMU. Had the number one pass efficiency defense in 2007 at SMU.
A running backs coach will be named later, but one of the things that stands out when you look at this list is that these are all coaches with Division I coaching experience, and Division I coaching success. They have all worked on powerhouse squads and turned in nationally recognized performances in the highest level of the college ranks. Not only that, they are all known as plus recruiters and have churned out all conference, all american and high draft NFL draft picks in their times at their respective jobs.
This is a big difference from the coaches we have had in the past, many of which were getting their first job at OSU in their perspective field or position group, and had almost no Division I position or recruiting experience. While great coaches and great guys, Perry, Brasfield, Langsdorf and Locey, Heyward would all call OSU their first Division 1 job, and their first year recruiting to the a Big 5 conference team (before that term even existed). Only Garrett, Brennan and Bray had held major college position group experience prior to being a Beaver coach. Also, Garrett and Langsdorf had never been offensive coordinators when they were hired by Mike Riley. So all those coaches came in with a lot of questions around them.
This staff has no real question marks. If you want to see what they have done you can look at their past jobs and see. This is new territory and I would be lying if I didn’t say it is exciting. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming months and coming years, but for the first time in a long time, all eyes are on Oregon State and at least within the conference, they are concerned glances and not knowing ones.