A rather shocking development in the Pac-12 this morning: Mike Riley, the dean of Pac-12 coaches, has bolted for Nebraska. Never thought he would leave Oregon State.
It will be interesting to see what Riley is able to do with talent and resources on par with his peers. He’s a great coach and a genuinely nice guy. I know some Beavers fans were getting restless after a couple subpar seasons, but what Riley did in Corvallis — Corvallis! — over the years was impressive. He made the Beavers relevant.
What’s next for Oregon State?
As is the case with these crazy modern coaching searches, a number of names have already been thrown around, some of them reasonable. A couple local names to keep an eye on: Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin and UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith. I don’t think either of them will be considered leading candidates, but the Beavers would be smart to take a long look at Baldwin (who I’m hearing is also a candidate at Colorado State).
Smith is, of course, a former Oregon State quarterback, so there’s a natural tie-in there. I would imagine Oregon State would want someone with more than one season of experience as a power-conference offensive coordinator, but there is some intrigue there.
Former UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox‘s name has been thrown out there, too, because his name is out there for just about every opening on the West Coast.
Quick names for Oregon State: Matt Wells, Brian Polian, Scott Frost, Mike Norvell, Tom Herman, Mike Bloomgren, Justin Wilcox
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) December 4, 2014
Former Oregon State star on Riley: “Unrivaled competitiveness, an ability to read people on a personal level, a hard and efficient worker.”
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 4, 2014
This kind of sudden turmoil in the Pac-12 is a clear indicator that USC needs to lock Sark up for life. No offer is too big or too ironclad.
— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) December 4, 2014