Michigan State officially announces hiring of next head football coach
Michigan State has hired Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith as its next head coach.
The program announced that news on Saturday afternoon.
“Today is an exciting day for Michigan State as we welcome Jonathan Smith, wife Candice, and children Robert, Bella and Charles to our Spartan family,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller said in a release. “Jonathan has a proven track record of success, building the Oregon State program from the ground up by implementing a plan resulting in sustained historic success for the Beavers. He’s been a part of championship staffs, coached in the College Football playoff, and understands what’s required to be successful at the highest level, learning from some of the game’s most successful coaches.”
A new era of Spartan Football is here!
Please welcome Jonathan Smith as the 26th Head Coach in program history.
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) November 25, 2023
The news that Smith would be hired as Michigan State’s next head coach was first reported by 247Sports’ Matt Zenitz on Saturday afternoon. Smith was identified as Michigan State’s “top target” on Friday evening by a report from The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach.
Smith joins Michigan State after an impressive 6-year stint at Oregon State. He led the Beavers to a 10-win season a year ago and an 8-4 campaign in 2023. Smith led Oregon State to a 34-35 overall record during his tenure with the Beavers.
A former quarterback for Oregon State, Smith is leaving his alma mater to join the Spartans. He does not have any coaching experience within the current Big Ten footprint, although he was an assistant at Washington prior to taking the Oregon State head coaching job in 2018.
Smith will replace Mel Tucker, who was fired by the university earlier this fall. Harlon Barnett served as Michigan State’s interim head coach after Tucker left the program. The Spartans went 2-8 over their final 10 games with Barnett in charge, including a season-ending 42-0 defeat to Penn State on Friday evening.