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Jim Michalczik with Raiders

Jim Michalczik, right, talks with Oakland offensive linemen when he was the Raiders' O-line coach. Michalczik has returned to Oregon State to serve as O-line coach and run game coordinator.

Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

Jim Michalczik is another former Oregon State assistant coach who is back with the Beavers to join coach Jonathan Smith.

Michalczik was the Beavers' offensive line coach and tight ends and special teams coach under Dennis Erickson from 1999 to 2001 while Smith was quarterbacking the team.

Michalczik, who will serve as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator this time around, was part of a national title team at Miami as a defensive line coach with Erickson and made several stops as an assistant.

After his first stint at OSU, he went to Cal and then was the offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders from 2009-10 before returning to Cal as the Golden Bears' offensive coordinator and line coach from 2011-12. He spent the last five seasons as Arizona's offensive line coach.

Michalczik said the hiring of Smith was a big reason he decided to return to OSU. He says the coach sets the personality of the whole program and Smith is very competitive.

"He's a great guy, down to earth, but he's got a competitive streak in him that I think is going to filter through the staff and to the players," Michalczik said. "He's smart, he knows how to put things together. I think he has a great vision for how he wants to do the things and I think all that stuff is going to come through down to the players."

He likes the staff that Smith has assembled so far and wants to be a part of the process of putting together a strong program.

"I think it's going to be a good crew," Michalczik said. "I think we've got some work to do but I think we're going to have fun doing it and do it the right way and hopefully build something special."

Michalczik is impressed with the upgrades that have been made to the football facilities since he left.

The Valley Football Center, in particular, has been expanded and renovated and includes a new locker room area with easy access to large healing hot pools.

"It's kind of fun to come back and see how things have changed," he said. "There's a lot of change and amazing how good a job they've done here with the facilities and things like that."

As an offensive line coach, Michalczik looks for players who have a competitive streak and are hard workers.

He values athletic linemen who can get out and make blocks in space as well as at the line of scrimmage.

"Offensive line play, it's tough. You get out there and the second play you're tired and you're sweating like crazy, something's hurting," he said. "Who are the guys that have that competitive nature to press through that and want to win? So I think you start with the person.

"Obviously, the athletic ability part is a big part of it, and size. I'll generally err on the side of a more athletic guy than a bigger guy. I can go find 300-pound guys everywhere. To find a 300-pound athlete, sometimes you'll take a smaller guy that you can see the growth potential."

As the Beavers' run game coordinator, Michalczik will be involved in coming up with concepts to work game to game throughout the season.

"I think the biggest thing is when we start to game plan, we'll kind of start separated and I'll come up with run thoughts and they're coming up with pass thoughts and you kind of come together and try to make it all marry and complement each other," he said.

It's been a whirlwind start for Michalczik and the rest of the staff. They went right into recruiting mode for the early signing period and continue to recruit as the Feb. 7 signing day approaches.

Michalczik has also had to meet the linemen and evaluate the offensive line situation.

"I think the biggest thing is we're starting new," he said. "It doesn't matter what was done before or how it was done before, this is the way coach Smith wants to do it, this is the way we're going to do it to win. I think there's going to take some work to (gain) the trust of the players. It's a tough deal. Anybody who's gone through tough years like that, everything's tough. So we're going to have to build that trust and just set the vision and keep going."


Sports Reporter

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