This is a very bittersweet moment in Corvallis, Oregon and for Beaver Nation.
While losing a great coach is tough on the organization, Oregon State running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Michael Pitre is reportedly off to the NFL for his next coaching adventure.
ESPN college football senior writer Adam Rittenburg reported the news on Wednesday:
Pitre joined the Beavers coaching staff on January 10, 2018. In those three seasons, he coached two backs that will go down in Oregon State program history: Artavis Pierce and Jermar Jefferson were the first OSU teammates to rush for 2,000-plus career rushing yards in school history.
Under Pitre, the team averaged 31.2 points in 2019, the second-most by a Beaver team for a 12-game season.
Now, Pitre will join a few familiar faces in Chicago: former Beavs running backs Ryan Nall (2014-2017) and Artavis Pierce (2016-2019).
Nall went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft but spent the 2018 season on the Bears practice squad. He appeared in eight games after being promoted from practice squad in Week 10. His first game action came in the 2019 season when he carried the ball twice against at the Minnesota Vikings in week 17.
Last season, Nall played in all 16 games, primarily on special teams, but also recorded eight catches for 67 yards and a score (Week 9 vs. the Tennessee Titans on a 6-yard pass from quarterback Nick Foles).
Pierce also went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, but joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent. He saw action in five games after getting called up to the active roster in Week 4. Pierce rushed six times for 34 yards and a touchdown (13-yard touchdown run in Week 16 at the Jacksonville Jaguars) in 2020.
While it’s a sad day to see such a dominating coach depart, Beavs fans can find resolution knowing he’ll be coaching his former backs in college!