On Monday afternoon, Oregon State announced that it is parting ways with head coach Gary Andersen after just two and a half seasons. Over the weekend, the Beavers lost 34-10 to the USC Trojans. Here’s the statement from athletic director Scott Barnes:
Cornerbacks/assistant coach Cory Hall will coach the team for the remainder of the season.
Andersen complied a 7-23 record in Corvallis, including a 4-8 season in 2016. It appears as though Andersen does not have a buyout. Here’s the full statement from Oregon State:
“After many discussions with Scott, waiving my contract is the correct decision and enables the young men and the program to move forward and concentrate on the rest of this season,” Andersen said. “Coaching is not about the mighty dollar. It is about teaching and putting young men in a position to succeed on and off the field. Success comes when all parties involved are moving in the same direction.”
“This is an exceptionally difficult time for me, personally and professionally,” Barnes said. “I have known Gary for many years and respect him highly as a person, my friend, a head football coach and an incredible leader of young men. The timing of this is very difficult; however it is the best for all involved.”
“Coach Andersen’s decision to waive his remaining compensation is unprecedented in major college athletics,” Barnes said. “His decision is made for the right reasons and values, and it speaks volumes about the kind of honorable person that Gary Andersen is.”
The release added Oregon State University and Andersen have “mutually agreed to release each other from all future contract obligations and payments,” which he was guaranteed through the 2021 season. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has the details on just how much that was”
Oregon State coach Gary Andersen, who mutually agreed to part ways with the Beavers on Monday, also forfeited the money he was owned in the final four years of his contract. He would have been paid more than $ 12 million under the terms of a contract extension he signed in December.
Oregon St would have paid Anderson $ 800K+ for rest of ’17, $ 2.75M for ’18, $ 2.85M for ’19, $ 2.95M for ’20 and $ 3.05M for ’21.
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) October 9, 2017
After two and a half seasons as head coach in Corvallis, the powers that be have had enough and Andersen is out.
Why’s he out?
The Beavers never really got it going under Andersen. His first season saw the team go 2-10, including 0-9 in the Pac-12. The 4-8 mark in 2016 came with a 3-6 improvement in conference play, but the team stumbled out of the gates this season including a 1-4 start with the only win coming by three points against FCS Portland State. It’s been largely ugly during his tenure, and now it’s done.
Was this the right move?
It seems like it, but there’s the question of what Oregon State believes it is as a program moving forward. It will likely never be as good as it was under former coach Mike Riley. The former Beavers headman was an institution in Corvallis, where he made eight- and nine-win seasons something of a norm. A 10-win 2006 campaign was a highwater mark, but even Riley’s last season before leaving for Nebraska was a 5-7 disappointment. It’s not like Andersen walked into a stocked cupboard, but things haven’t gotten any better under him either.
The Pac-12 also is only getting more competitive, and in-state rival Oregon’s downturn seems to be at an end with Willie Taggert getting that program headed in the right direction. The Beavers must choose wisely here or risk getting left further in the dust.
Where was he before Oregon State?
Andersen made a fairly surprising move from Wisconsin to Oregon State in 2014. Andersen got Utah State to 11-2, and replaced Bret Bielema in Madison shortly after that in 2013. He was successful with the Badgers winning 10 games in 2014 and leading the team to a Big Ten championship game.
It wasn’t all bad, right?
Perhaps the best moment of Andersen’s tenure came at the expense of those rival Ducks. Oregon State beat Oregon in the 2016 version of the Civil War rivalry game and it was a great way to end a trying season. The Beavers will be looking to recapture that magic with whoever the next coach is.