Oregon State has added a new member to its football coaching staff.
AJ Steward has been hired as the Beavers new running backs coach after Michael Pitre accepted a job with the Chicago Bears earlier this month.
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg first reported the move and the school later confirmed via a press release.
“I’m excited to have AJ join the Oregon State family,” Smith said. “He’s a veteran coach with a great reputation for developing running backs through his previous stops at Rice, BYU and Arizona. He knows the Pac-12 well and is a great addition to our coaching staff.”
Steward comes to Corvallis after one season in the same position at Arizona, and two seasons at BYU, from 2018-19. The St. Louis, Mo., native opened his coaching career at Rice from 2012-17, where he spent the last four years as running backs coach after serving as a graduate assistant the first two seasons.
Arizona rushed for just over 156 yards per game in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The Wildcats, who played in just five games, were led by Gary Brightwell, who ranked in the top 10 in the Pac-12 Conference with 390 yards.
“I’d like to thank Coach Smith for this opportunity,” Steward said. “Oregon State has an incredible tradition of running back success and I’m excited to be a part of that. I’m looking forward to getting to Corvallis to work with a talented group of running backs in an exciting offense led by Coach (Brian) Lindgren."
Steward left Arizona following the hiring of Jedd Fisch to head coach who brought along his own guy to coach running backs.
While at Arizona, he recruited three-star running back Stevie Rocker to sign with the Wildcats beating out BYU, Cal and Nevada.