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Report: Michigan State hires OSU head coach Jonathan Smith

Reports emerged on Friday evening from The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach that Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith was a finalist for the vacant MSU job.

After the Civil War defeat to Oregon, Smith had this to say to the assembled media about his job status

Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes was adamant prior to the game that retaining Smith was “a top priority”.

There were reports minutes prior to the Smith announcement that Michigan State AD Alan Haller dismissed the current coaching staff, which SOP for a new coach coming in to evaluate and bring in a new staff

The Oregonian’s Nick Daschel has confirmed that Smith is indeed heading to East Lansing

Michigan State has now confirmed the Smith hiring

Who is Jonathan Smith?

He replaces Mel Tucker permanently after Tucker was fired due to a sexual harassment claim.

Smith began his coaching career at his alma mater in 2002, Oregon State, shortly after his days as a player ended. He first rose to prominence as the offensive coordinator at Boise State, serving under Chris Petersen. Coach Smith then followed Petersen to Washington, where he furthered his coaching CV. After three seasons in Seattle, he was named the head coach in Corvallis in 2018.

He leaves OSU after six seasons with a 34-34 record, which is astounding given the prior malaise of the program. Oregon State was revitalized as a program under his watch. However, the program was left behind in the realignment wars of 2023. Smith was compensated with a base salary of $4.85 million per annum, which ranked in the top five within the Pac-12. The 2022 and 2023 seasons were landmarks as he led the Beavers to 10 and eight wins, respectively. Oregon State was ranked in the top 20 prior to the Civil War date with Oregon.

Good luck at Michigan State, Coach Smith!

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