OSU surprises with reported Wayne Tinkle hire

OREGON STATE HAS reportedly gone in a different direction than most thought they would with their new basketball coaching hire. The Beavs and Bob De Carolis are expected to name Montana's Wayne Tinkle their new hoops coach on Monday.

Wayne Tinkle, age 48, just completed his eighth season as head coach at his alma mater, Montana.

The Griz have advanced to NCAA Tourney three of the last four seasons, and have posted two straight 25-win seasons.

He was a Griz assistant for five campaigns before taking over the top job and is one of the winningest coaches in Montana school history. And he's no stranger to post-season play.

As a player, he spent 12 years in the pros, mostly overseas, and Montana currently lists two international players on the roster, from Australia and Germany, although the Beavs are not thought to want to significantly recruit overseas.

Tinkle did have to build the UM program like he will at Oregon State -- the Griz had been to the Big Dance three times in the five years before he took over.

He also has never coached, as an assistant or head man, at the major-college level.

He has a great record, no doubt, but that entirely Big Sky background is not what some BeavFans were expecting in their new coach.

De Carolis has surprised just about everyone by choosing Tinkle over two the media had positioned as the frontrunners: Arizona assistant Damon Stoudamire and former UCLA coach Ben Howland. Howland publicly last week said he was taking himself out of the running, seemingly opening the door for Stoudamire. Instead, it swung open for Tinkle.

Tinkle will face a serious rebuilding job from the start at Oregon State.

The Beavers have lost their five top scorers on a team that underachieved and played uninspired basketball this past season, going 16-16 (8-10 Pac-12) and falling in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational. OSU hasn't gone to the NCAA tournament since 1990, the second longest drought of any Big-5 conference team.

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