It’s been just over 24 hours since Gary Andersen abruptly stepped down from his post as Oregon State head coach, but the picture of the shitshow going on behind the scenes throughout the first half of a frustrating season for the Beavers is starting to take shape, thanks to the reporters at The Oregonian.
Yesterday, reporter Ken Goe published an account detailing the reaction to Andersen’s departure from within the program, completed mainly with the help of several connected anonymous sources. As was the case with Danny Moran’s followup that was published Tuesday morning, not one person thought Andersen would call it quits; even former Utah coach Ron McBride, who speaks with Andersen regularly as his mentor and friend, was surprised by the resignation, saying he wished that the former Beavers coach had talked it through with him first.
That information, while interesting, was largely to be expected—nobody expects a Power Five coach to drop in the middle of the season, let alone do it and leave $12.6 million on the table. But while everyone from players to fellow Pac-12 coaches admitted that the Week 6 resignation was a shock, the sources in Goe’s piece all pointed to one common factor that led to Andersen hanging up the headset: issues with his coaching staff.
One of Goe’s sources went as far as to refer to staff as an “absolute dumpster fire,” citing “infighting,” the high number of offseason medical retirements, and a rash of disheartening transfers as causes for internal strife. Another added that Andersen’s “lost 25 pounds since the season started” due to stress over the state of the now 1-5 team.
As interesting as the no-name quotes were, though, everything was blown out of the water this afternoon, when reporter John Canzano came through with the goods.
Canzano occupies the unique position of being a modern old-school beat writer—he’s tapped into the Corvallis campus, regularly breaking Oregon State stories along with Moran. Throughout the season, Canzano and Andersen had established a rapport via texting, normally communicating after every game to rehash what went right and, more often, what went terribly wrong.
Go read the full report and check out all of Andersen’s depressing-ass texts, because candid tidbits like this are rarely if ever shared by reporters. Canazo’s texts from Andersen are honest in their depiction of a coach that clearly grew increasingly frustrated with the status of his football program, one that was quick to blame himself and then be honest and critical at the state of his coaching staff or players. Again, you should go read every text, but it’s pretty clear from observing the first and last texts Canzano received that Andersen—despite him even saying the opposite—was never going to last the full year.
It started pleasant enough:
Andersen (Sept. 1): “Love my kids just want to see them take a step!! Don’t expect greatness but I do want to see progress!.. I will fight! It’s an interesting battle. However I asked for it and love my kids! We still need to step up around here and stop being small time!! ... We played hard as hell ... blown coverages and poor run fits... our youth hurt us bad... it’s on us. This team should get to a bowl game. If not I will be highly disappointed!! Getting old... patience isn’t what it used to be!!”
But even before last week’s crushing loss to USC, Andersen was pretty clearly ready to book the next ticket out of Corvallis.
Andersen (Sept. 30): “That’s my best shot!! I will give it that again next week!! That offense is embarrassing!! On me I hired the (expletives)!”
Andersen (Oct. 1): “I could give a flying (expletive) about natives! I have not looked or listened to any of that (expletive) good or bad... My plan won’t change. Coach my (expletive) off for these kids seven more times!! They will get all I got!! ... I will grind for these fans they deserve that!!!”
God speed, Cory Hall.