Heyward comes home

KEITH HEYWARD ON Tuesday was officially named to the Oregon State staff as an assistant football coach in charge of the cornerbacks. A former Beaver cornerback from 1997-2000, Heyward replaces Nigel Burton who departed last week to take the defensive coordinator position at Nevada. Heyward is also expected to take Burton's recruiting territory of Los Angeles as well as Portland.

Heyward spent two years as a graduate assistant at Oregon State from 2005-06, and this past season was the linebackers coach at Cal Poly before returning to his alma mater. The Mustangs (7-4) ranked third in total defense in the Great Western Conference this past season.

As a player, Heyward was a three year starter and four year letterman under Mike Riley and former coach Dennis Erickson, taking the field on the opening defensive series 35 consecutive games at cornerback for the Beavers from 1997-2000.

He also played professionally, with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL, the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe and the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.

"I have a lot of respect for Keith as a football coach and a human being. He is a tremendous addition to our staff and has a great future in the coaching profession," said Riley.

Heyward was Oregon State's Rookie of the Year in Riley's first season at OSU in 1997. At the conclusion of his senior year he was selected Pac-10 Honorable Mention.

Over his playing career in Corvallis, he logged 88 tackles, with 23 pass breakups and five pass interceptions.

"It's really a dream to come back to my alma mater and work with such a great coaching staff," Heyward said.

"To think just a little more than 10 years ago I was first setting foot on the OSU campus as a freshman to now being a full-time assistant coach – it's hard to put into words the gratitude I have for Coach Riley and the people who make up Oregon State University."


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