Former Oregon State coach Mike Riley is among the staff joining Jonathan Smith and the Beavers' football program.
Riley left OSU for Nebraska, where he coached for the past three seasons before getting fired this year. Riley will serve as an assistant head coach with a-to-be determined position assignment, Smith announced Thursday morning.
He has won numerous national honors including the then-Pac-10 coach of the year. He returns to OSU for the third time as the school’s all-time winningest head coach with 93 victories in stints from 1997-98 and 2003-14. He led the Beavers to eight bowl games during his second period with OSU.
Riley also coached the NFL’s then-San Diego Chargers, the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the World League’s San Antonio Riders.
“Current and former players thriving in the NFL and in life are proof of coach Riley’s tremendous ability to recruit outstanding young men,” Smith said. “He understands what it takes to win in this conference, and how to evaluate and develop student-athletes. There is no one better to have represent OSU in the homes of recruits as we build this program.”
Also joining the program are coaches Jim Michalczik, Brian Lindgren, Jake Cookus and Mike McDonald (strength and conditioning). Dan Van De Riet also returns to Corvallis in an administrative role. The appointments are contingent on the completion of all university hiring processes.
The four on-the-field coaches have worked with teams that have a combined 29 bowl appearances and 370 victories at the FBS and FCS levels, and have 41 years of coaching experience within the Pac-12 Conference.
Michalczik returns to OSU as the run game coordinator and offensive line coach with the added title of associate head coach. He will be in his second stint with OSU after also serving from 1999-2001 as the Beavers’ special teams, offensive line and tight ends coach.
Michalczik has spent the last five years at Arizona as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach. With the assistance of Michalczik, the Wildcats have been one of the most prolific offensive teams in the nation this season, leading the Pac-12 in scoring offense (41.8 points), total offense (494.5 yards per game) and rushing offense (324.4.), while ranking sixth, 12th and third in the nation, respectively.
Michalczik, a Port Angeles, Washington, native, has been a part of teams that have played in 14 bowl games during his career that began in 1990 at Miami. He also coached offensive lines that led the way for Ken Simonton (OSU, 1998-2001) and Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona, 2011-13) to rank third and seventh, respectively, in the Pac-12 for career rushing yards.
“Jim is one of the finest offensive tacticians in the game who has experienced high levels of success at the college and professional levels, including Oregon State,” Smith said. “His knowledge of this conference and his strong ties to this region make him an outstanding addition to our staff.”
Lindgren joins the Beavers’ staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He spent the last five seasons at Colorado as the offensive coordinator for the 2013-15 seasons and co-offensive coordinator for the last two years. The former standout college and high school quarterback helped Buffs’ signal-caller Sefo Liufau set 99 school records. Lindgren was part of the staff that rebuilt Colorado into the 2016 Pac-12 South Division title team, making an appearance in the league’s championship game. Prior to Lindgren’s arrival at CU, the program ranked last in the Pac-12 for scoring offense and 11th for total offense two consecutive years.
“I’ve coached and recruited against coach Lindgren for many years and I have the utmost respect for him as an evaluator of talent,” Smith said. “He has an impressive resume of developing quarterbacks in this conference. Overall, the staff and student-athletes will benefit immediately from his experiences at rebuilding programs at San Jose State and Colorado into conference contenders and champions.”
Cookus has served as the special teams quality-control coach the last two years and has been promoted to special teams coordinator. The former Beaver safety has 15 years of experience in the coaching ranks, which includes OSU, Hawaii, Montana, Weber State, Kentucky and Southern Oregon. He has nearly 20 years of special teams experience as a player and coach, in addition to being a defensive coordinator for seven seasons. The Roseburg native was a standout safety for the Beavers from 1998-2001, earning Pac-10 honorable mention as a senior.
“Coach Cookus brings a similar background to the program that I have; he knows what it takes to be successful here as a student-athlete and coach, which makes him invaluable in selling Oregon State University,” Smith said. “His commitment to detail, which is an especially valuable trait for a special teams coach, and knowledge of the high school programs in the region make him a tremendous asset in recruiting.”
Hungalu, Togiai honored
Tight end Noah Togiai and inside linebacker Manase Hungalu were both selected to the AP all-Pac-12 Conference second team.
Togiai led the Beavers with 34 catches for 461 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore.
Hungalu finished his senior season with a team-high 97 tackles. He had six for loss with 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, four pass breakups and four quarterback hurries.