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Andersen Coaching Staff Being Pieced Together

Gary Andersen is still putting the pieces of his staff together.
Gary Andersen is still putting the pieces of his staff together.

When he was announced as Oregon St.'s new head football coach last week, he said he hoped to have announcements about his staff of assistants by early to mid-week this week, and there are a couple of additional confirmed developments, but no word yet on coordinators.

Andersen's defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, Dave Aranda, was widely anticipated to come to Corvallis with Andersen, but now appears to be staying put in Madison, with new head coach Paul Chryst, formerly at Pitt, but also a Wisconsin grad and former assistant.

Andersen did announce the hire of Derrick Odum, who has been the secondary coach at SMU for the last 7 years, and was at Utah, coaching the safeties for 3 years before that. Odum becomes the second assistant actually inked, joining holdover wide receivers coach Brent Brennan, who was hired Tuesday.

This puts current secondary coach Rod Perry apparently on the way out, though he has been around the VFC so far in the transition.

Perry would join offensive coordinator John Garrett, who everyone knew was gone for some time, in the job market.

The other now known fact is that Oregon St. defensive line coach Joe Seumalo will be joining new head coach Tony Sanchez at UNLV. It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact that will have on center Isaac Seumalo, or his sister, who happens to be a highly rated recruit committed to the Oregon St. Volleyball program for next fall.

Andersen's only other hire so far was last week, when Zach Nyborg, the BYU Director of Football Operations joined Andersen's staff. It has been reported that Andersen will also bring strength and conditioning coach Evan Simon, his most recent director of football operations Jason Thomas, and recruiting director Bince Guinta from Wisconsin.

Staff titles get thrown around rather randomly, but that would give Andersen 2 directors of football operations, which kind of sounds like the job description for the head coach, so who will do what is still up in the air there.

It's been widely discussed that current Wisconsin offensive line coach T.J. Woods will be taking the same position at Oregon St., but that still hasn't solidified. It's possible Woods got a call from Chryst, and may still be weighing his options.

This is potentially the single most important decision to come, as though the coordinators are important, what Woods (or whomever else gets the job) determines he can do with the returning offensive linemen could well dictate parameters around other decisions about both the offense and the defense (can the Beavers play aggressive, and risk giving up a few big plays, or will they have to play to keep the score of games down?), at least in the first year or two.

The more intriguing tidbit out of the Twittersphere is that Andersen has talked with Andy Ludwig, who was the offensive coordinator the last 2 years at Wisconsin. Under Ludwig, Wisconsin did develop a Heisman finalist running back in Melvin Gordon, but the telling story seems to be that the prevailing attitude among Badger fans is that they are happy Ludwig will be leaving, and that Oregon and California fans are openly campaigning for Ludwig to go to Oregon St. on the theory that that will take care of any worries they might have about the Beaver offense for a couple of years. Hardly ringing letters of endorsement.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com