EUGENE — A report that Oregon State was going to hire Beau Baldwin as head football coach was released on Friday evening before Saturday’s Civil War game.
Baldwin, who spent the past season as the offensive coordinator for California, has been mentioned in connection with the opening almost as soon as Gary Andersen left midway through the season.
Oregon State director of athletics Scott Barnes was in Eugene for the game but would not elaborate on the situation.
“We’re not commenting on the search,” Barnes said before kickoff.
OSU safety David Morris said interim coach Cory Hall did not mention the report to the team.
“That was just hearsay,” Morris said. “We weren’t really paying attention to it.”
If the Beavers do go with Baldwin, the announcement will most likely come soon. With the loss to UCLA, California is 5-7 and, although there are circumstances in which teams with that record can land a bowl berth, it is improbable that the Golden Bears will play after this weekend.
Baldwin has just one season at the Power 5 level but his resume is full of successful football seasons.
Oregon State fans know him from his time at Eastern Washington, where he was head coach from 2008-16. He led the Eagles to the FCS national title in 2010, had five teams with 11 or more wins and defeated OSU and Washington State during his time at EWU.
Baldwin is known for putting together high-powered offenses and coached quarterback Vernon Adams before he went to Oregon as a graduate transfer.
Cal averaged 384.5 yards a game this season and scored 39 touchdowns.
OSU players were eager to move forward after the 69-10 loss to Oregon on Saturday.
The offseason has officially begun and the Beavers can look toward a new start, which will most likely include a new coach.
Outside linebacker Andrzej Hughes-Murray said he has no idea who that might be.
"We don't really care who the next coach is, we just want to go out there and work for whoever it is, because at the end of the day all we've got is us," he said. "We're a very family-oriented team and so if the new coach is going to come in, we're going to work for him too, but that's what we've got to do."
Morris said that person must be a leader and motivated.
“Just a guy that will never quit and is a people person,” he said. “For us, it’s just somebody that’s going to be able to bring this team from where we are to the top.”
Running back Ryan Nall said he wants someone who is not just all about football.
“I think one of the best qualities for a head coach to have is his love for the players,” Nall said. “Make sure all aspects of the student-athletes be just as harped on as the athletic side. So make sure that a guy is going to class and make sure that they’re doing things right off the field.
“It’s not about the wins and losses, it’s not about recruiting, it’s about turning young men into men.”
Quite a few of the players would like to see Hall return for the upcoming season and beyond. Morris said Hall has not given any indication of whether he would be staying with the program.
“Obviously we’d love to have him,” Morris said. “That’s huge for us. But if he doesn’t end up staying, best of wishes to him and his future.”