Andersen: Surprises in store for Beavs

GARY ANDERSEN HAS his defensive coordinator in place in Kalani Sitake but what about his offensive coordinator? Andersen said his goal is to name his OC this weekend. He also has some surprises planned for the Beaver players when they start classes again on Jan. 5. And although Andersen is a defensive coach, he’s eyeing a different area of involvement in Year One at Oregon State ...

Gary Andersen has did a number of interviews on the day before Christmas. One on 1280 The Zone had several nuggets, such as his planned timeline to name his offensive coordinator.

“The 27th is my goal… I think a couple days after Christmas we’ll get that wrapped up,” said Andersen. “It was a big, big deal for myself and for Oregon State as a head coach to be able to get that defensive staff solidified… there was a big sigh of relief.”

You get the sense Andersen already has his offensive coordinator and is just waiting on the details to be ironed out – because although the OC isn’t officially in place, Andersen talked in great detail about how the Oregon State offense will look.

It’s hard to see Andersen hiring a o-coordinator and then telling him, ‘Okay, so here’s how you’ll need to do things.’ It seems far more likely Andersen and the yet-to-be-revealed OC are already on the same page. For starters, Andersen said the Oregon State offense will more resemble his offense his last two years at Utah State than it will Wisconsin’s offense the past two seasons.

“Very much like we played our last two years at Utah State, without question,” said Andersen. “We want to be multiple, I don’t say we are a spread offense… We will be on the cutting edge of offensive scheme. We want to be a fast offense if we need to be, we (want) to slow it down if we need to be. We want to be no-huddle, cause issues by formation, be able to run the ball horizontally and vertically, and throw it horizontally and vertically.

“But I think our pre-snap pace that we play with, throw with -- sometimes fast, sometimes slow, formations into the boundary – all those things that we want to do (are) to cause issues for people to prepare.

And we will run the quarterback.”

ANDERSEN SAID he and the Oregon State administration have been in lock step from the start. Some areas where that's manifested itself is in allowing him to make the assistant coach hires he wanted to make and, he said, giving him the things he needs as a head coach when it comes to the Beaver players.

“For instance I thought there were a few things those kids were absolutely going to need, to continue to feel like they were big-time Division I athletes,” said Andersen. “I’m not going to tell you what they are right now because it will get out and it’s (meant) as a surprise for the kids when they come back on Jan. 5.

“But we’ve done some things for them to continue to upgrade. And all of the Administration has been on board, from the President to the AD to all of the AD’s helpers. It’s been great.”

ANDERSEN IS A longtime defensive coach (with an emphasis on defensive coordinator and defensive line duties.) But he said he didn’t hire Kalani Sitake as his defensive coordinator at Oregon State so he could look over his shoulder and micromanage – he said he will fully let Sitake do the job he was hired to do.

A head coach will, however, sometimes have a particular area he likes to get involved in at least a little bit …

“To me it’s not the head coach’s (show) it’s the defensive coordinator’s (when it comes to defense). I’m going to be either involved in special teams or on the offensive side of the ball, I’m not going to be involved at all on the defensive side,” said Andersen.

For what it’s worth, Andersen coached special teams among his duties at Utah (2001-02) and at Northern Arizona (1995-96). He coached the offensive line in his first college job at Ricks College (1989-91).

Andersen says he was determined this go-around to take his time and get the right guys. And as good as he expects the Beaver D to be under Sitake, the Pac-12 is a different animal.

“You have to be careful right out of the gate in hiring coaches, you better have guys who can handle pace,” said Andersen, adding that’s why it was “absolutely key” to bring Sitake on board. “And you better have an offensive coordinator who can score points when you’re in the Pac-12 because at some point, someone is going to score a bunch on you no matter (how good the D is), you’re going to have to score a bunch of points in the Pac-12.”

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Andersen said he made sure to talk to Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, a good friend, at the outset so Whittingham knew from the start he was courting Sitake and Ilaisa Tuiaki. Asked about the reports Sitake was unhappy to be playing under a contract that would expire at the end of this season, Andersen said; “Sometimes you’ve got to move to be appreciated.”

  • Andersen said his son, Chasen Andersen, will transfer from Wisconsin to Utah State in January.

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