Fans of the Washington Huskies who loved to hate offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith will have to find a new target for their ire in 2018, as the former Oregon State Beavers quarterback has accepted an offer to become his alma mater’s next head coach.
BREAKING: I’m told Oregon State and Jonathan Smith have agreed on a deal that makes him the next Beavers' football coach, per sources close to Smith. I expect a formal announcement later today.— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) November 29, 2017
Though he earned a contingent of vocal detractors during his time at Washington, Smith took the Husky offense to new heights after arriving alongside Chris Petersen in 2014. Under his leadership and play calling, the Husky offense set program records for touchdowns (77) and points scored (585) in 2016, when the Dawgs finished the season with a No. 4 ranking in the AP poll and made their first appearance in the College Football Playoff. At Oregon State, where Smith starred as a walk-on quarterback from 1998 to 2001, he will work to rebuild a program that bottomed out this year under the regime of Gary Andersen, as the Beavers finished the 2016 season with a 1-11 record, the sole victory being a down-to-the-wire contest against FCS Portland State.
As to who will replace him as Washington’s offensive coordinator, Adam Jude of the Seattle Times suggests it will likely be Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach Bush Hamdan, former Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich, or Washington wide receivers coach Matt Lubick. For good measure, he also throws out the possibility of it being Troy Taylor, Utah’s offensive coordinator and Jake Browning’s high school head coach.
Bush Hamdan, Mark Helfrich, Matt Lubick first names (in that order) that come to mind to replace Smith as @UW_Football OC.— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) November 29, 2017
Should have included on this list Troy Taylor, Utah's OC and Browning's HS coach. https://t.co/FHNsMTmg0u— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) November 29, 2017
Smith will presumably leave the Washington program prior to the team’s bowl game, meaning that Petersen will likely appoint an interim offensive coordinator to call plays in 2017’s final game before he names a full-time replacement for Smith. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any breaking news concerning Washington’s coaching staff in the days and weeks to come.