Oregon St. names Trent Bray head coach

Oregon State named Trent Bray its next head coach on Tuesday.

Bray was promoted after serving as the Beavers’ defensive coordinator for two-plus seasons. He joined the Oregon State coaching staff in 2018 as the linebackers coach, holding that position until the middle of the 2021 season, when he was named interim defensive coordinator.

The 41-year-old Bray is taking over for Jonathan Smith, who is now Michigan State’s head coach.

“I’m excited to be able to announce Trent as our next head coach,” Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said in a statement. “After interviewing several qualified candidates, we realized our top choice, Trent, has already been a mainstay at the Valley Football Center and Reser Stadium. He’s been a part of Beaver Nation for a long time and love for this place is real.

“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.”

Under Bray this season, the Beavers’ defense is ranked 33rd in the country in scoring defense (21.5 points allowed per game) and 14th in rushing defense (104.1 yards allowed per game), and has recorded 36 sacks, tied for ninth most in the nation.

Leaning heavily on that unit, Oregon State went 8-4 in the regular season and is in position to appear in a bowl game for the third consecutive season.

The Beavers came in at No. 20 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday.

“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,” Bray, who was a linebacker at the school from 2002-05, said in a statement. “I’m excited to lead an outstanding group of men our fans can be proud of.”