Behind-the-scenes story of the hire.
I grew up in Eugene. Lived 1 1/2 blocks from the campus (my playground). I've been a Duck since Norm Van Brocklin was quarterback (For those whoo don't know, he was an All-American and All-Pro). I remember fist fights and brawls on the field after a "Civil War" football game. Went to Stanford, Lived most of my life in California. I was on the Oregon Club Board (Is there still an Oregon Club?), Helped recruit for and traveled with the basketball team during the Harter Kamikaze Kids era. I still cheer for Oregon.
All that said, right now I have moved the Beavers to the top of my "Cheer and root for" list. I want to see them succeed big!.
I guess it's like Oregonians of my era to root for the underdog. We were perennially in that role.
"Insert a bozo at USC and you win seven or eight games a year." Thank you for that mid week humor John.
Really awesome article Mr. Canzano...thank you!
Sometimes John makes me laugh because he intends for any reader to laugh at what he writes. Mostly, humor is meant to garner a laugh. But the photographers snapping Trent Bray thinking he was the head coach made me laugh because their error reveals a truth about both Bray and Jonathan Smith. That writing is being funny without humor. And, by being an independent reporter/columnist, John comes across things he would never find as an employee.
The hiring of Bray puts me at ease. After Smith leaving and that turmoil, I actually really happy. I would not be surprised if this ends up being a step up.
From one of my BeaverFriends during our discussion yesterday after reading your Breaking News post;
“👏🏻 Love the hire! A Beav through and through and he was the guy that the players, fans and boosters all wanted”
‘nuff said. Barnes did well
John, great piece as always. As a Beaver fan, the ending resonated with me in a way few things have over the past four months. I think Bray is the guy to lead OSU through the next couple years of uncertainly and back to the Power 4.
Beavers > Leavers
Thanks John, great writing. I went to OSU at age 18 in '71. That year was the start of a football losing streak that lasted for 28 years. I was 46 by the time OSU had a winning football season again. So, while the sand seems to be shifting under our feet don't panic, we've seen worse. A lot worse.
Even though we have come to expect a level of detail in your writing, this is above and beyond. I can't tell you how much this OSU fan appreciates you.
Also, very, very interesting how people took photos of Trent Bray, assuming he was the HC. Prescient, no?
I don’t get the malarkey about JS doing the best thing for his family ! “ Oh Daddy, we need three million more dinero to be happy!”
Interesting stat from The Athletic yesterday about Smith’s record with and without Bray as DC. Before Bray got promoted to DC, Smith’s record was well below .500, and well above .500 after Bray became DC. Seems like a good hire and fit for Corvallis.
Hopefully we now have a coach that knows when to take the freaking three points, and not gamble like he's playing with 'house money' all the time.
Great column, again. Great hire, again. Thanks to Scott Barnes for obviously beginning his search five weeks ago when JS telegraphed his departure. Nuff said.
If we need somebody to "punch back" at the departing 10, I'd much rather it be a fighter like Trent Bray than a quitter like Smith.
I guarantee no take on this hire will be as nuanced or revealing as this. Thanks, Mr. Canzano. Each of these reminds me why I subscribe.
As a detached observer w/ties to the conference who wants to see OSU (and WSU) thrive going forward, I genuinely hope Bray works out and that my Beaver fellow subscribers are happy long term.
I will, though, always wonder:
1. Would Brennan actually have come if offered the job under present circumstances?
2. A year ago, I couldn’t imagine Brent not returning to Corvallis to coach in the PAC12. Obvious huge step forward for him. Now ... very different situation contextually.
3. Brent will have SJSU contending in whatever reconfigured conference emerges from MWC/OSU/WSU collaboration. If he isn’t hired away in the next cycle. Which could happen. I would not, for example, necessarily bet against an opening in Boulder by end of next season.
4. Intriguing point, Barnes being “backed into a corner.” The portal deadline, I get. Players pushing to keep Bray, I understand. Alumni/donors, same. But isn’t an AD supposed to “lead” vs “follow”? And doesn’t that sometimes mean pushing against the emotional tides?
5. I’m not saying Bray isn’t the best choice. Time will tell. Only that, as JC noted, Brennan was a clear option 1(a).
6. And no matter what anyone says, a lightning round of seven interviews in a single day cannot have been intended to be a thoughtful inquiry into candidate’s qualifications, fit, or potential interest.
7. Barnes surely would say he was open to being “blown away.” My suspicion? The press conference announcing Bray was being planned before any “candidate” interviews on Monday took place.