Oregon State promoting Trent Bray to head coach after 2 1/2 seasons as DC: What it means for Beavers

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Oregon State is promoting defensive coordinator Trent Bray to head coach, the school announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Bray was the Beavers’ DC for 2 1/2 seasons and has been with the program for 10 seasons. Bray coached at OSU from 2012 to 2014 before returning in 2018.
  • Bray’s promotion comes three days after Michigan State hired former Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith for the same position.
  • Oregon State went 8-4 in 2023, finishing fourth in the Pac-12.

What does this mean for Oregon State?

This promotion comes at a time of great transition. Oregon State and Washington State are soon to finalize a scheduling agreement with the Mountain West that will provide the two with games for at least next season while providing time for the two schools to sort out the collapse of the Pac-12 and what to do with its assets. They also need to figure out a media rights deal for themselves for next season.

Smith has already taken many key assistants and staffers to Michigan State. The transfer portal is now open for Oregon State players because of the coaching change. Bray’s first priority will be keeping as many players as he can, keeping a recruiting class together and finding a staff, despite all the uncertainty ahead. As a program alumnus, it’s all especially personal in a difficult time.

But it’s also worth noting Smith’s turnaround of the Oregon State program coincided with Bray’s promotion to defensive coordinator for the final four games of the 2021 season. Up to that point, Smith was 14-26 as Beavers head coach. After Bray took over the defense, Oregon State went 20-9. — Chris Vannini, senior college football writer

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(Photo: Jordon Kelly / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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