That headline is not meant to be a negative assessment of Oregon State’s men’s basketball coach. Quite the contrary, its recognition of what Wayne Tinkle’s job currently is, at least the portion on the floor that’s visible to the rest of us.
As the Beavers wind their way home after a rough road trip to the mountain schools, both of whom took wins while exacting an emotional toll on Oregon State, it occurs to me that Tinkle is at the moment in largely the same situation as your local high school JV coach.
Many nights, Tinkle can not win, and can not even hope to. And often enough that when the Beavers might be able to win, it still doesn’t matter. Other than in order to provide some encouragement on occasion, wins make no difference to a team already assured of a losing season (by a lot).
His job, much like the local JV coach, who is in fact often as important as anyone in a successful program, is go get his guys ready to play at a higher level at some future point when winning will matter.
It’s different than the high school JV coach in that he is getting players ready to step up when those ahead of them are gone, whereas there is no one in front of anyone at Oregon State.
But Coach Tinkle’s mission each night is to take another step to get his guys ready to play at a high level along side other players not currently on campus.
We don’t have any kickoff times or tv channel assignments yet, but we do know who the Beavers will play on what day this coming football season.
With it being a Civil War road game year, there will be 6 games at Reser, 4 of which will be conference contests, the only 4 during term, when the students will be on campus.
The only bye will set up a sole Thursday night game, one of the home games, though there will be 2 open Saturdays in October for OSU fans, and only 1 Saturday home game between the end of September and late November. There will also be 1 Friday game, as the Civil War will be the day after Thanksgiving.
Though he was announced as Oregon State’s new Athletic Director late last month, Scott Barnes’ last day in his previous job in the same job for Pitt was Friday the 13th, so Saturday was his first day fully on the job for the Beavers.
What happened Saturday night should have been an eye-opener.
Barnes indicated he would take his first 100 days or so to evaluate things. That will take him until after spring break, and the start of spring term, and after
spring winter football practice.
And while there are systemic issues he still won’t have fully unearthed by then, the debacle Saturday night should have been all Barnes needed to see to get an idea of the biggest issues, and should have made it clear to him that there’s no need to wait to get started on them.
In a sold-out Matthew Knight Arena, Oregon obliterated Oregon State 85-43. It was the Beavers’ worst loss in the 347 game history of the Civil War, and they were never even competitive.
The Ducks scored the games first 21 points, and the Beavers didn’t even score until almost the middle of the first half. The spread was a ridiculous 25 points, but Oregon had that covered a couple of minutes before halftime.
Oregon State head football coach Gary Andersen said last week he had his choices for the two open assistant coach spots that came about after Brett Brennan left to become the head coach at San Jose St., and took Derrick Odom with him, but that it would take a few days for the administrative gears to grind through to actually getting them hired.
Today, that process progressed far enough to announce that Jason Phillips and John Rushing, shown in the above artwork that Oregon State released with the hirings, will be joining the Beavers.
Phillips comes to Corvallis after a 1 year stint at Kansas as the Jayhawks’ wide receivers coach, and 3 years at SMU immediately before that, also coaching the WRs and being the co-offensive coordinator.
He was an All-American wide receiver at Houston, playing with Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware, and played 5 years in the NFL, 2 with Detroit and then 3 in Atlanta, before finishing his playing career with a couple of years in the CFL.
His coaching career has been primarily with receivers, and began with a year at Texas State. He did 2 4 year stints at his alma mater, with a 1 year side trip up to Waco in 2007, as Baylor’s inside receivers coach. At Houston, he did log some time with the Cougars’ cornerbacks, and spent some time there as the co-offensive coordinator as well.