Oregon State will hire Washington co-offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith to be its new head coach, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the deal and an official announcement was being finalized. The move was first reported by The Oregonian.
Smith is a former Beavers quarterback who has been working as quarterbacks coach for coach Chris Petersen since 2012, starting at Boise State and following him to Washington in 2014.
He also had stops as an assistant at Montana and Idaho. He was a graduate assistant at Oregon State from 2002-03.
Smith was a walk-on in Corvallis, playing for the Beavers from 1998-2001. He was on Oregon State’s 2000 team that went 11-1 and defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl under coach Dennis Erickson.
A fan favorite during his playing days, Smith ranks third on Oregon State’s career list with 55 touchdown passes and 9,680 passing yards.
Oregon State has been in the market for a new coach since Gary Andersen surprisingly stepped down in early October after a 1-5 start, with the victory coming over lower-division Portland State.
The Beavers promoted cornerbacks coach Corry Hall as interim head coach. Hall appeared to inspire the team, which challenged Stanford in a close 15-14 loss. And a group of players started an online petition supporting Hall, as well as a Twitter hastag #HALLin.
But Hall’s connection to the players didn’t translate to wins. The Beavers wrapped up the season with a 69-10 loss to rival Oregon in the Civil War rivalry game to finish 1-11 overall and 0-9 in conference.