It's taken a while, but Kevin Clune will be named the new Defensive Coordinator at Oregon State, replacing Kalani Sitake, who departed to become the head coach at BYU, his alma mater. Beavers Head Coach Gary Andersen has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow for introductory purposes, and a formal announcement could come today.
Cory Hall will be coming on board to fill the open defensive assistant coach job as well, though he won't be a direct plug and play as linebacker coach, which Ilaisa Tuiaki was before following Sitake to BYU to become the Defensive Coordinator there. Hall's direct position experience has been in the secondary, and Clune has extensive experience as a linebackers coach, so some shuffling around seems to make sense.
Coach Andersen has announced that in addition to being the Defensive Coordinator, Clune will coach the inside linebackers. Hall will coach the corners, and Derrick Odum, who coached the entire secondary in 2015, will coach the safeties.
Chad Chad Kauha'aha'a, who coached the defensive line last year, will coach the inside linebackers, and Andersen will take over the D-line personally.
Clune was the defensive coordinator at Utah State in 2015, and the Aggies wound up 17th in the country in total defense (pending the National Championship Game), allowing 332.5 yards per game, and 13th in passing defense (in the pass-heavy Mt. West Conference), at 180.5 yards per game, though Utah State was 47th against the run, allowing 151.92 yards per game, and only 61th in scoring defense, at 26.7 points per game.
Clune was Andersen's linebacker coach at Utah State in Andersen's stint as Utah State head coach, from 2009 thru 2012, and stayed on for a year in Logan after Andersen left for Wisconsin. Clune was a central figure in transitioning Utah State from a 4-3 defense to Andersen's preferred 3-4 front, a transition the Beavers struggled with in 2015 (though a lack of bodies at LB, especially given the desire to preserve the red-shirt of some true freshmen, and a lack of speed on the D-line were the factors that most hampered the process).
Clune moved to Hawaii for 1 year as the Rainbows' defensive coordinator, in 2014, before returning to Utah State last year. It was a sequence of moves to gain experience as a DC, having only done so previously while at FCS Weber State of the Big Sky, where he coached from 2005 through 2008.
Hall, a Fresno State grad, played for Cincinnati for 5 years in the NFL, from 1999 thru 2003, and finished his career with Atlanta in 2004. He has a little previous experience in the Pac-12, as a Student Assistant at Washington State in 2006. Hall was at California high school powerhouse Clovis North for 6 years, first as Director of Football from 2008 through 2010, and then as head coach for 2011 thru 2013.
He returned to college coaching, as a Graduate Assistant for Andersen at Wisconsin in 2014.
Beaver fans may recall him being briefly on the staff at Oregon State, as he followed Andersen to Corvallis, and was a Graduate Assistant for a brief period early last year, entirely in the off-season, before taking a job as a Weber State assistant for last year, coaching the secondary.
Weber State's secondary held Oregon State to 110 passing yards in the Beavers' season opening 26-7 win, as Seth Collins completed 10 of 18 passes, for only 92 yards, but 2 touchdowns, and Marcus McMaryion to 2 of 4, for 18 yards, and the ill-advised pick 6 on a screen pass that was the only score for the Wildcats that evening.
Clune will be charged with rebuilding a defense that actually started the season playing fairly well, but the combination of a lack of quality depth, and being left on the field far too long time and again by a usually ineffectual offense, eventually led to one of the worst seasons in the country.
The Oregon State defense ranked 116 in the country (out of 128 FBS teams) in total defense, allowing 481.5 yards per game, 115th in rushing defense, having allowed 225.5 yards per game, 114th in scoring defense, at ~37 points per game, and 99th against the pass, allowing 256 yards per game.
The defense was the less experienced portion of one of the least experienced teams in the country in 2015, and though they gained a lot of experience the hard way, they will also be without DT/NG Kyle Peko, arguably their best defensive player, DE/OLB Jashwa James, and DE LaVonte Barrett, and CB Larry Scott, all of whom graduated.