Mike Riley is going back to Oregon State again.
The former Nebraska coach was named the Beavers’ assistant head coach Thursday. Riley was fired as Nebraska’s coach at the end of the 2017 season and will serve as the top assistant to first-year head coach Jonathan Smith.
“Current and former players thriving in the NFL and in life are proof of Coach Riley’s tremendous ability to recruit outstanding young men,” Smith said in an Oregon State statement. “He understands what it takes to win in this conference, and how to evaluate and develop student-athletes. There is no one better to have represent OSU in the homes of recruits as we build this program.”
It’s Riley’s third turn with Oregon State. He was the team’s head coach from 1997-98 before leaving to coach the San Diego Chargers for three seasons. After a season as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints, Riley returned to Corvallis and was the team’s head coach from 2003-14 until he left for Nebraska.
He was fired after Nebraska finished 4-8 in 2017 — the team’s worst season in his three years with the school and leaves with a record of 19-19 with the Huskers. At 93-80, he’s Oregon State’s all-time winningest coach.
Smith, a former Oregon State quarterback, played at Oregon State from 1998-2001, meaning he played for Riley for one season. Before he was announced as Oregon State’s head coach in November, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Washington for four seasons.
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