Needless to say, Bobby D. and President Ray knocked it out of the park by hiring Gary Andersen to replace Mike Riley. While Andersen is a “Out of Left Field” pick, he’s a fantastic one.
He built up Utah State’s program and won there, which is no easy feat. And maintained his successful ways after moving onto Wisconsin. Plus, it never hurts when a coach is part of the Urban Meyer coaching family tree. Andersen knows how to dig deep and get things done — which is the kind of approach and attitude he’ll need to thrive in the deep and competitive Pac-12.
The good news is OSU appears ready to play with the big boys. In addition to the Andersen hire, the university also announced on Wednesday plans for a $42 million expansion of the Valley Football Center, which will help a lot in selling the program’s vision and atmosphere to recruits.
Speaking of which, many of OSU’s current recruits reacted favorably to the news of Andersen’s hire. Here’s hoping that Andersen sways some of the players he was recruiting at Wisconsin to look at the Beavers. And good news, Andersen has had success recruiting linemen on both sides of the ball, and also has strong Polynesian connections.
It will be interesting to see how Andersen puts together a coaching staff at OSU. If he can convince defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to join him, I am sold. It also would be great if he chooses to retain at least Brent Brennan on staff, at least for continuity’s sake.
My guess, because Brennan has been out recruiting for the Beavers this week, is that he’s staying put. I also wouldn’t mind Chris Brasfield, Rod Perry, and Joe Seumalo staying either. But overall, it will be nice to see some changes at OSU. Some assistants clearly needed to move on.
There’s still a lot to be determined, and it will be interesting to see how things fall into place during the next few days and weeks. But one thing for sure: This hire is a much-needed boost for Oregon State, the football program, and Beaver Nation. It signals a beginning of a new era — and that OSU will keep swinging for the fences.
Welcome aboard, Coach Andersen! (RW)