Canzano: Jonathan Smith speaks on his future at Oregon State
Smith said: "I’m trying to be truthful.”
There’s been a lot of speculation about Oregon State’s plan to keep coach Jonathan Smith in the fold after this season.
I spoke with Smith in a 1-on-1 discussion on Tuesday on my radio show.
The coach was candid.
He was earnest.
I respect that.
I also left the conversation wondering what more Oregon State can do to retain Smith beyond this season. There are openings at Texas A&M and Michigan State. Smith’s name has surfaced as a possible candidate at both. Amid that, OSU hopes it can retain him.
Here’s a transcript of the most interesting part of my exchange with Smith:
What do you say to Oregon State fans who are nervous about losing you?
“They can be confident I’m completely focused on the task at hand. (They can be) confident that we’re battling, week in and week out and that has not changed. There has not been some distraction on that. I think it’s known what this place means and what I’ve done and been around here and I think that speaks for itself.”
Does that mean that you have not had contact with other schools?
“I’m not trying to be sarcastic here. I’ve got an agent that’s got a job. He best be finding out what is out there and people calling. That’s how that works. I can tell you from his side he best be working just because I’m paying him so much. They get a percentage and I’m making a couple million bucks. I’m not trying to be sarcastic. Any coach, they’re aware of what’s potentially out there if their agent is doing their job. I’m not trying to dodge the question. I’m trying to be truthful.”
How committed are you to the future at Oregon State?
“I will say that I grow more and more confident every time I talk to (athletic director) Scott (Barnes) in regards to the plan to operate and fund at the Power 5 level, scheduling and trying to create a schedule that works. It’s not an easy task. You know the situation that us and Washington State are in, but my confidence grows listening to Scott more and more on the plan to fund it at that level and how we’re going to get it done… my confidence grows on that end.”
What do you need to hear from Oregon State? Do you have a contract extension on your desk?
“There’s been conversations. Some of it, for me individually on my contract, because we’ve won the amount of games we have, I’ve already got an automatic extension. So I’m sitting on another six years. So that part is not as critical. The big piece is just not about me. We’ve got a big-time staff here. It’s just not about me and the insecurity and uncertainty. The staff here, same way. We’ve got players here, same way. We’ve got to continue to support it so we act like a power-five level.”
Oregon State plays at Oregon on Friday in the 127th meeting of the Civil War.
The full conversation with Smith is a good listen:
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