Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes announced Monday that head football coach Gary Andersen and the university agreed to “mutually part” ways after a 1-5 start this season.
“I thank Gary for his many contributions to our student-athletes, OSU Athletics and Oregon State University,” Barnes said, via Oregon State’s team website. “OSU football has advanced significantly in many ways during Gary’s tenure here, including in our facilities and student-athlete academic performance. This program is poised for success on and off the field.”
The news came as a significant surprise given Andersen’s contract, which guaranteed him $12.6 million over the next four seasons. By “mutually” agreeing to walk away, the university is released from all future contract obligations and payments, which left many to wonder why Andersen would willingly leave.
“After many discussions with Scott, waiving my contract is the correct decision and enables the young men and the program to move forward and concentrate on the rest of this season,” Andersen said. “Coaching is not about the mighty dollar. It is about teaching and putting young men in a position to succeed on and off the field. Success comes when all parties involved are moving in the same direction.”
The Oregonian’s John Canzano shed some light on Andersen’s decision by releasing text messages on Tuesday from the Beavers head coach over the past six weeks.
Below are some of the text messages sent from Andersen to Canzano:
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!!”
Sept. 4 – “Self promoting… that’s what this business has become!!… That’s the biggest reason I am not long for this (expletive)!! Kids are a second thought or third or fourth!!”
Sept. 9 – “Hard place right now… one thing I guarantee you is this: This staff needs to figure it out. I ain’t going to die doing this (expletive)! It’s on me and I get that and right now… Beaver Nation deserves much better! End of story!!”
Sept. 12 – “I have them by the (expletive) for every penny, no buyout for the next four not counting this year… but that’s not my style!! If it does not improve I will do some crazy (expletive) with my salary so I can pay the right coaches the right money!!
Sept. 20 – “I hired the wrong (expletive) guys and are still working our way through a bunch of recruiting years that stunk!! It’s year three! If these (expletives) can’t get it right I will not just say fire them and start over!! That’s not the way to go about it. If I (expletive) it up that bad I will take the bullet and ride off into the sunset! I will stay old school!! I will not die doing this (expletive)!! Stay tuned!”
Sept. 25 – “Was solid. We are on the same page overall… eight games… see where myself and these coaches can get these kids. I respect Scott and won’t hold him hostage. I expect to see improvement in our performance!”
Sept. 25 – “It’s Oregon State! Not bitching trust me on that one!! It is what it is!! I made my bed!! Grind and fight again tomorrow with my kids!! I was in a bad funk on bye week now it will be me with my guys the rest of the way!!”
Andersen, 53, led Oregon State to 7-23 overall record through two and half seasons but was coming off four consecutive winning seasons at Utah State and Wisconsin before joining the Beavers.
Barnes named cornerbacks coach Cory Hall the program’s interim head coach on Monday, and the Beavers host Colorado this Saturday.