One of Oregon State’s own agreed today to take over the football program at his alma mater today. The official introduction will come tomorrow, but word got around late this morning, and by this afternoon, Oregon State Athletic Director had Smith getting off a private plane at the Corvallis air port.
Smith was the quarterback for the Beavers from Halloween Day 1998 in his walk-on freshman year through 2001, and led Oregon State first to the Oahu Bowl, their first post-season game in 36 seasons, and then to the Fiesta Bowl, site of still one of the biggest wins in Beaver History, the 41-9 blowout of Notre Dame that led to finishing ranked 4th in the country.
Standing less than 6 feet tall, Smith was never going to be an NFL quarterback, but he’s become a premier collegiate assistant coach.
After 2 years as a graduate assistant at Oregon State, Smith spent 6 years as the quarterback coach at Idaho. That was a rough stint, as one might expect in Moscow, but it also means Smith understands about being the underdog at an under-resourced program. That mostly losing stint did end with a winning year, and a bowl game in 2009 though.
That was the beginning of a run of 9 straight winning seasons.
Smith then became the Offensive Coordinator as well as the quarterbacks coach at Montana, and the Grizzlies went 7-4 in 2010, and then 11-3 in 2011.
That got him a promotion to become the quarterbacks coach for Chris Petersen at Boise State. The Broncos then went 11-2, including beating Washington in the Las Vegas Bowl, and followed that with an 8-5 season, and a trip to the 2013 Hawaii Bowl. The Beavers kind of spoiled that, with a 38-23 win.