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OSU names former Beaver linebacker Trent Bray to head its football team

Headshot of Trent Bray
Karl Maasdam
Oregon State University
Trent Bray, a former OSU linebacker, has been named head coach of the Oregon State University football team

Oregon State University has named a new football coach in the wake of Jonathan Smith’s departure. OSU tapped Trent Bray, a former Beavers linebacker, to lead the team.

Bray has also served as OSU’s defensive coordinator and has also served as an assistant coach at Nebraska and Arizona State.

In a press release announcing the hire Tuesday evening, Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes cited Bray's previous roles as both an OSU player and assistant coach as being key elements to his promotion to the head coaching job.

"(Bray has) been a part of Beaver Nation for a long time and love for this place is real," said Barnes. "The connection and trust he has built with our student athletes is unmatched. His energy and determination as head coach will be a catalyst for continued program success."

Bray takes over the team during a time of uncertainty, with the future of the Pac-12 hanging by a thread. Every team in the conference, except Oregon State and Washington State, will be leaving at the end of the current academic year. OSU has yet to announce a single opponent for its 2024 football season.

He did not mention any of that in a statement released by OSU.

“I’ve been a part of Oregon State for a long time, as a coach and a student-athlete, and know how special Beaver Nation is," said Bray. "I’m excited to lead an outstanding group of men our fans can be proud of.”

In the short term, Bray will serve as the team’s leader as they prepare for their end-of-season bowl game against a still-to-be-determined opponent.

He was named to the job less than four days after the university announced that Smith, himself a former Beavers football player, had stepped down as coach to take the head coaching job at Michigan State University.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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