The Beavers needed to move quickly on their coaching search, and they did. This evening Oregon State announced that Defensive Coordinator Trent Bray will replace Johnathan Smith as head coach of the Beavers.
Introducing the 32nd head coach in program history, Trent Bray! pic.twitter.com/xDjcXzVgrH— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) November 29, 2023
It is a quick rise for the 41-year-old former Beaver linebacker. Bray served as the defensive coordinator for OSU since midway through the 2021 season, when he replaced Tim Tibesar mid-season as interim DC and assumed the permanent position the next year. Prior to his latest stint at Oregon State, Bray coached linebackers for Mike Riley at Nebraska from 2015-2017, and served briefly as interim head coach after Riley was fired at the end of the 2017 season. Bray got his start as a graduate assistant for former Beaver head coach Dennis Erickson at Arizona State in 2008, before spending time with the California Redwoods of the United Football League, and stints as linebackers coach at Arizona State and OSU under Riley before following him to Nebraska.
Bray had emerged as a favorite of fans and seemingly players over the course of the last week. He represents as much continuity and stability as the Beavers can muster in the coming years of conference purgatory. The next few weeks will tell how much churn there will be in both incoming recruits and current players testing the transfer portal, but it certainly seems that star running back Damien Martinez is a fan of the move.
Brayyyy AREAAA!!!!— damien martinez (@damienfor6) November 29, 2023
Bray will start off his tenure with plenty of goodwill and a continuation of the culture that has made Oregon State a successful program as far back as the Erickson years. He will need every bit of that to guide the Beavers through the uncertain times ahead.