‘Don’t panic’: How Jonathan Smith took Oregon State from faculty soccer’s basement to atop the Pac-12

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The calm voice seems over the headset proper as issues are getting somewhat traumatic in Corvallis. Thirty-one yards passing will make you stressed out. Just 174 yards of offense will, too. Oregon State is trailing Washington by way of seven with ten mins to move, and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren could be feeling some drive.

Then he hears the informal, reassuring phrases of the person in fee. “We’re doing all right. I love your plan. You’re great coaches. Let’s relax and put together a good drive. Don’t panic.”

That’s his head trainer, Jonathan Smith. If this sounds corny, simply be affected person. That’s what Smith does. That’s how a program is going from arguably the worst within the Power 5 — from two years with out an FBS win — to first position within the Pac-12 North. Patience. That’s how Smith approaches the whole lot, a 42-year-old first-time head trainer with a four-paragraph Wikipedia web page who took on a behemoth of a program rebuild, saved the similar personnel all through and lived to inform the story.

Don’t panic. That’s the motto. It’s what you’ll listen from each and every personnel member you communicate to in Corvallis. It’s what you’ll listen from Smith’s previous Beaver head trainer Dennis Erickson. It’s nearly bizarre, his coordinators admit. He’s simply calm. He’s simply composed. Defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar struggled to position it any higher than: “He’s just totally normal. What does that even mean?”

Well, it manner he took over a program whose head trainer, Gary Andersen, walked away halfway thru a 1-11 season with the one win being a 3-point squeaker towards Portland State. It manner he went 2-10 in Year 1 with a not-so-talented and not-so-disciplined roster and nonetheless vowed to not veer from the plan. It manner he neglected a bowl recreation in 2019 and fell off overdue in 2020 and nonetheless maintained this strange religion.

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