I went back and checked out as many preseason prognostications about the Oregon State Beavers football as I could find. I couldn't find one prediction saying the Beavs would be in a bowl in 2019 and I couldn't find one writer or broadcaster calling for more than four wins. Hey, its not surprising considering the 2017 and 2018 seasons. A 3-21 record will create a lot of doubt about a football program.
Jonathan Smith and his talented coaching staff proved a lot of people wrong this season and are ahead of schedule on getting the Beavers back into the national conversation when it comes to winning football games.
Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes loves the direction of the football program and says he wants to make sure the continuity, consistancy and commitment remain untouched. He told me this afternoon that Jonathan Smith wants to make sure that doesn't change moving forward. Increases in the salaries of the assistant coaches is a top priority.
Barnes also is reworking Coach Smith's contact.
He wll enter the third year of a five-year contract at $1.9 million dollars per year, plus bonuses.
Barnes and Coach Smith have actually been discussing a reworking of his contract since October .
"We are being proactive ensuring this staff stays together," Barnes told NBCSNW. "It is not just about the wins, but also about the change in the culture of the football program. That includes the improving GPA's we have seen since Coach Smith and his assistants have taken hold in Corvallis. I am impressed with the tremendous job they are doing in recruiting and Jonathan is ahead of schedule on all of the above."
Barnes does realize a few of the key members of Jonathan's coaching staff have expiring contracts at the end of February. Trent Bray (linebackers), Jake Cookus (special teams), Jim Michalczik (offensive line), Kefense Hynson (receivers), Michael Pitre (running backs) and Legi Suianoa (defensive line). The money pool for assistants will be increased, but there is no word on how much they will receive. The four other assistants have another year left on their deals. Barnes says the increases will be substantial and are in concert with other Pac-12 schools.
There's another big priority besides the coaches' salaries: Filling up Reser Stadium. The four conference wins and the fact they were one first down away from qualifying for a bowl has gotten Beaver Nation's attention. The new season ticket campaign is touting 2020 season tickets at 2019 prices. And consider next year they have seven home games including the Cougs, Ducks, Cal and Colorado State.
Can they break through in 2020 and qualify for a bowl? No one thought they could this season and they were five yards short. There is no doubt its an attainable goal and it looks like the administration is coming through to make sure that contihuity and constancy are on track to build more success in Corvallis.,