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Michigan State hires Jonathan Smith away from Oregon State, hoping he turns around another program

by Michael Nguyen
5 comments
Michigan State Football Revival

Michigan State has made a significant coaching move by securing the services of Jonathan Smith, who was previously at Oregon State, in the hopes of revitalizing their football program. This decision comes after a period of instability during Mel Tucker’s tenure as head coach.

Jonathan Smith, at the age of 44, served as the head coach at Oregon State for six seasons, where he achieved a respectable record of 34 wins and 35 losses. Notably, his team achieved an 8-4 record in the most recent season, marking the first time in over a decade that the program had secured at least eight wins in consecutive seasons. His ability to rebuild and sustain success did not go unnoticed.

Michigan State’s Athletic Director, Alan Haller, expressed confidence in Smith’s ability, citing his proven track record of transforming Oregon State’s football program into a competitive force. Smith himself, a former quarterback who led the Beavers to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, returned to Oregon State as head coach in late 2017 when the team was struggling at 1-11.

Smith’s social media statement reflected his gratitude for the community and opportunities that Oregon State provided to him and his family. His coaching journey includes stints as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Washington, Boise State, Montana, and Idaho, with his coaching career beginning as a graduate assistant at Oregon State in 2002.

In terms of contractual details, Smith had six years remaining on his contract, valued at $31.2 million through 2029, with a $3 million buyout clause.

Smith inherits a Michigan State team that faced significant challenges in recent seasons, particularly against highly ranked opponents. Nevertheless, the program has a history of competitiveness, with notable successes under previous coaches like Mark Dantonio and Nick Saban.

Notably, Tucker’s departure from Michigan State was due to his suspension and subsequent termination after acknowledging inappropriate conduct with a vendor who was engaged to educate his team about preventing sexual abuse and misconduct. Harlon Barnett served as the interim coach during this period, but the team struggled with a 2-8 record.

Looking ahead, Smith faces the task of turning around Michigan State’s football program, with the added challenge of the Big Ten expanding to include formidable opponents in the upcoming season. The Spartans’ recent losses against highly ranked teams underscore the need for improvement.

In conclusion, Michigan State has brought in Jonathan Smith, an experienced coach with a track record of rebuilding and sustaining success, to lead their football program. Smith’s tenure at Oregon State and his coaching background make him a notable addition to the college football coaching landscape, and his ability to develop quarterbacks and maximize player potential is seen as essential for Michigan State’s resurgence in the competitive world of college football.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Michigan State Football Revival

Who is Jonathan Smith, and what is his coaching background?

Jonathan Smith is a 44-year-old coach who was hired by Michigan State from Oregon State. He has a coaching career that includes previous positions at Washington, Boise State, Montana, and Idaho, starting as a graduate assistant at Oregon State in 2002. As a former quarterback, he also led the Beavers to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl.

What were Jonathan Smith’s achievements at Oregon State?

During his six seasons as the head coach of Oregon State, Smith achieved a record of 34 wins and 35 losses. Notably, in his most recent season, his team posted an 8-4 record, marking the first time in over a decade that the program achieved at least eight wins in consecutive seasons.

Why did Michigan State hire Jonathan Smith?

Michigan State hired Jonathan Smith with the hope that he could revitalize their football program. The program had faced challenges and instability during Mel Tucker’s tenure as head coach, leading to his suspension and subsequent termination. Smith’s track record of rebuilding and sustaining success at Oregon State made him an appealing choice for Michigan State.

What are the challenges that Jonathan Smith faces at Michigan State?

Smith faces the challenge of taking over a Michigan State team that struggled in recent seasons, particularly against highly ranked opponents. Additionally, the Big Ten is expanding, adding powerful programs, which will further test the team’s competitiveness. Smith’s task is to turn around the program and improve its performance.

What is Jonathan Smith’s coaching style and expertise?

Jonathan Smith is known for his coaching style that emphasizes toughness and innovation on the field. His teams have been recognized for their physicality and have ranked among the nation’s leaders in both rushing offense and rushing defense. He also has a reputation for developing quarterbacks, which is considered essential in modern college football.

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5 comments

MSUAlumna November 26, 2023 - 8:48 am

it’s gonna be tough with big ten expanding but spartans have potential

Reply
FootballGuy55 November 26, 2023 - 5:42 pm

smith’s coaching style is tough and innovative, let’s see if it works at michigan state

Reply
SportsFanatic22 November 26, 2023 - 8:21 pm

michigan state had some rough losses in recent years tucker’s departure was unexpected

Reply
Reader123 November 26, 2023 - 9:38 pm

jonathan smith seems like a solid choice for michigan state hope he can turn things around

Reply
NewsJunkie99 November 27, 2023 - 12:12 am

great summary, thanks for the info and links!

Reply

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