Oregon St. head football coach Mike Riley announced a pair of staffing moves today that will retain a key component of the coaching staff. Trent Bray, a former Beaver player that played in 49 games in the 2002 through 2005 seasons, starting 34 of them, re-joined the team as a Graduate Assistant this past season, and coached the linebackers. Bray's work with the linebackers was a major factor in the turnaround of the Oregon St. defense, and has also proven a strong recruiter. Bray, however, was not eligible to continue as a Graduate Assistant.
"We were very fortunate to have Trent as a graduate assistant last season, and he proved what I already knew that he is a bright young coach who has a tremendous future in our business," Riley said. "He is going to continue to have a major impact with the development of our linebackers, and will be an outstanding recruiter for the Beavers."
To make room under the NCAA limitation of 9 paid assistants who have direct team/game contact, Riley has promoted Jay Locey to a new position the university is titling "Chief of Staff". Locey, who has been with the Beavers for 7 years, the first 3 as the wide receivers coach, and most recently working with the tight ends the last 4 seasons, will have primary responsibility for a variety of things, including pre-screening of opponents, team building activities, leadership development, career/job placement opportunities for OSU football student-athletes, Varsity "O" Football alumni engagement, fundraising, coordinating incoming football student-athletes into the summer BEST Program (high school to college academic/athletics transition), and high school and community relations.
"I'm very excited to have Jay in this new role," Riley said. "There is no better person than Jay to fill this crucial role because he has a great football mind, is an excellent communicator and has a genuine ability to connect with people."
It's a creative way to retain Locey, and Bray as well, and allow redirecting a slice of time for a number of the assistants who had to devote some effort to the things Locey will now concentrate on.
The move doubtless brings a pay raise for Locey, compensation for "taking one for the team", as far as game day involvement, which is the fun part, and keeps Locey around (something we know is a priority for Riley, who values staff stability in a business where that's exceedingly rare) in the event one of the other assistants gets hired away at some point down the road.
Riley plans to add a new Graduate Assistant, who will take over the Tight Ends, possibly another ex-Beaver player.
Oregon St. will have 4 paid assistant coaches for both offense and defense, plus special teams, under the new arrangements.