Jonathan Smith is the next Oregon State football coach, the school announced Thursday afternoon. The Washington Huskies offensive coordinator for four seasons under Chris Petersen, Smith, 38, was the Beavers quarterback from 1998-2000, when OSU finished fourth in the country his senior season. He signed a five-year deal and will be introduced at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Smith set nearly all of Oregon State’s passing records during his time at the school and led the Beavers to the 2000 Pac-10 title and a win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. He worked as a graduate assistant at Oregon State in 2002-03. He coached at Idaho and Montana before joining Petersen at Boise State as quarterbacks coach in 2012.
When Petersen moved on to Washington following the 2013 season, so did Smith. Hw will replace Gary Anderson, who quit the program last month after compiling a 7-23 record during two and a half seasons.
Smith, who helped recruit QB Jake Browning to Washington after he originally committed to Boise State, oversaw the most explosive offense in UW history in 2016. The Huskies tallied a school record 77 touchdowns (13 more than the previous mark) and averaged a conference-best 41.7 points per game.
This season the 10-2 Huskies averaged 36.9 points per game.
Smith’s name has been floated as a potential replacement for Anderson for some time. As late as Tuesday, Dennis Erickson, a former OSU and Seahawks head coach, lobbied the school to hire him as the head coach so that he could appoint Smith “coach-in-waiting.”
Asked about a potential return to Corvallis earlier this season, Smith said, “I’ve got a great job here (Seattle), a great place, and I really don’t know what it’s like down there. But it’s flattering. Obviously I’ve got great memories there.”
In contrast to the success Smith has enjoyed at Washington, Oregon State has not had a winning season since 2013 and has gone 7-29 over the last three seasons. The Beavers the past season were 1-11, 0-9.
Petersen begins a search for a replacement as he waits for his 10-2 team’s bowl fate Sunday. Speculation is that the Huskies will be booked for the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio Dec. 28.