CORVALLIS, Ore. - Jonathan Smith heard applause Thursday morning, similar to the applause he heard as Oregon State's quarterback when the Beavers won a share of the PAC-10 title in 2000. But this time was different. As he walked into the new auditorium at Oregon State's new Valley Football Center, that applause was as the new head football coach in Corvallis.
After Smith was formally announced as OSU's next head coach, former teammates and coaches reached out to express their congratulations to OSU's walk-on quarterback.
"It just reaffirmed to me why i wanted to do this. and now i'm sitting here in front of you guys, at my dream job, in my dream town, at my dream school," Smith said in his opening remarks.
The celebration will last the rest of the week and well into the Spring and Summer. But the work begins now for Jonathan Smith, who must assemble his first coaching staff. When asked what he's looking for in his unknown stable of assistants, Smith put a premium on quality people.
"The big piece on who we hire is men of charcter, of integrity. you know i kinda describe it as low ego high output, that's what I'm looking for. Guys with low ego ready to come in here compassion. and work with our kids, held to accountabilty. but also they've obviously got to deliver."
As for the players left behind in the wake of Gary Andersen's departure and echoes of in-fighting amongst the previous staff, it will be pivotal for Smith to maintain the Beavers core group of stars. Specifically running back Ryan Nall.
"Were gonna re-recruit the kids that are juniors, seniors, sophomores and then incoming freshman. we will be recruiting them all. Getting to know them all. so again i go back to we need to establish some trust. Between both parties it needs to take place. so were going to make efforts to get that started very very quickly," Smith said.