UW co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake also linked in media reports to the Beavers' head-coaching vacancy.
Like everyone else, Washington offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith was stunned this week when he learned of Gary Andersen’s abrupt departure as the Oregon State coach.
Smith first heard of Andersen’s exit from Washington coach Chris Petersen, who had learned the news midway through his press conference Monday.
“I don’t know Gary that well,” Smith said Wednesday. “I’ve met him a couple times, knew a lot of people that know him and have a great deal of respect for him. So it was shocking to see that all play out.”
Smith was a standout quarterback at Oregon State from 1998-2001. As a senior, he led the Beavers to a share of the 2000 Pac-10 championship (with UW and Oregon) and a victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
Some in Corvallis see Smith as an obvious candidate to replace Andersen. Multiple media reports have not only linked Smith to the vacancy but also UW co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, who is viewed by many as one of the rising young assistants in college football.
Smith, 38, in his fourth season as the Huskies’ coordinator and quarterbacks coach, said he is only focused on UW and its next opponent, Arizona State.
“I’ve got a great job here, a great place, and I really don’t know what it’s like down there,” Smith said, adding: “It’s flattering. Obviously I’ve got great memories there and whatnot, but I’ve got an extreme focus on us and these next couple of practices. I thought we practiced really well today, and the Sun Devils present a challenge. And we’ve got a lot of things going, so it’s a huge game Saturday.”