Washington Football QB coach Smith likely next Oregon State U head coach

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Washington football team boasts some of the best coaches in the NCAA. So it should come as no surprise that Oregon State pillaged UW coaching staff to find their next head coach, qb coach Smith

The Pac-12 football coaches are going through some upheaval. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you no doubt know the Pac-12 will once more see the return of head coach Chip Kelly, and the infamous “blur” offense. But you should also be aware of a coaching change at Oregon State. The Washington Football team defeated the Beavers rather handily. So convincingly, in fact, that head coach Gary Anderson laid down a gauntlet. Do better against USC, or he would resign.  Oregon State lost to USC.

We had this one covered almost as soon as then head coach Gary Anderson resigned. We identified two Washington coaches who were under consideration for the opening: offensive coordinator and QB coach Jonathan Smith and defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake. Smith had ties to Oregon State University and Lake simply is one of the best talent developers in the NCAA.

Bye Bye Beaver

In the end, it is Jonathan Smith who will assume the helm for the Beavers.

It’s never easy to lose a coach who is both intimate and integral with the football program. And while there is still no “official” announcement, the reports are growing in frequency and intensity as though this is already a done deal.

It’s simply too much of a relationship to ignore.

Silver lining

Now there is simply not enough time or space to acknowledge all that Jonathan Smith has done/meant to the Washington Football program.  We know that Jake Browning succeeded under Smith, recording 29 wins and just 10 losses under his tutelage. We can also acknowledge the ease by which the team scored, averaging well over 30 points a game on offense.

That’s incredible.

But there were chinks in the armor this season. Two losses on the road, one to Arizona State University, and one to Stanford University, where the offense felt… outcoached.  In the Arizona State game, the Huskies appeared to abandon the run needlessly.  Despite averaging nearly six yards per carry, the team rushed Myles Gaskin just 14 times, and Salvon Ahmed just twice.  Conversely, Browning shouldered 40 of the total 61 offensive plays. The Huskies lost the game by six points.

Run Run Run Run away

In the Stanford game, the distribution was far more equitable. But as the Cardinals ran injured Bryce Love 30 times with an average of 5.5 yards per carry, the Huskies were content with just 18 carries for Myles Gaskin with an average of 6.7 yards per carry.

Against Washington State, the Huskies rushed 45 times for 328 yards.

And that felt fixable. It was not simply a matter of plays not working in game settings. It was plays that were working were not recognized readily by the coaches, who did not adapt to what defenses gave them.

Don’t lose Sirmon or Yankoff!

Now Washington can go out and bring in an offensive coordinator who may offer more versatility to adapt to game conditions. But more importantly, whomever is named to replace Smith must ensure that the 2018 recruiting class tandem of Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff remain committed to the team. Who might that be?

Washington Football will likely have defections each year. To achieve greatness, the coaching staff must lay the foundation for the team and system, and not an individual personality, to succeed.

Next: RB Richard Newton commits to Washington Football 2018 recruiting class

It’s never pleasant to say farewell. Seniors graduate, coaches take on new roles and responsibilities. That’s the NCAA in a nutshell.  Each year is a new challenge for a new team. Best of luck to Coach Smith. But never when facing the Washington Huskies.