By Kevin Hampton

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Next up

Colorado at Oregon St.

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

TV: Pac-12 Line: Buffaloes by 12½

CORVALLIS — Last weekend, Cory Hall was a position coach for Oregon State in charge of the cornerbacks.

On Monday, Hall was introduced as the Beavers’ interim head football coach when it was announced that Gary Andersen and the school were parting ways.

Hall said he had no indication that Andersen was headed out.

“I spoke to (OSU athletic director) Scott (Barnes) last night and that was the first (I heard),” Hall said at a press conference Monday afternoon. “I’ve yet to speak to coach Andersen other than the conversation that he had with us as a staff. So that being said, I plan on speaking with him at length soon.”

Barnes spoke to Andersen about Hall but said promoting the 40-year-old was the AD’s decision alone. Barnes called it a no-brainer.

“His leadership capacity, his connection, his ability to motivate and the trust he’s built with those student-athletes I think is really important to us to bring that together,” Barnes said. “So those are components of that decision. He is the best to do that and that’s what we need right now.”

Hall played safety at Fresno State, then in the NFL for Cincinnati and Atlanta.

He moved into coaching as a graduate assistant at Washington State, making a stop at Clovis (California) High before going to Wisconsin as a grad assistant for the defense. He coached cornerbacks at Weber State in 2015 and was hired by OSU in 2016.

“I can assure Beaver Nation I will do everything in my power to move these young men forward in a positive manner,” Hall said. “My first order of business will be getting back on the field and preparing for our game against Colorado this Saturday.”

That includes getting the Beavers back on a winning track; OSU has been blown out in each of its five losses this season.

“I’m wearing the interim tag but I’m a head coach nonetheless,” Hall said. “None of us are happy with how we’ve performed to date and so I’m going to assume the responsibility to go in and get our team prepared.

“We’ve got to put our best foot forward and we’ve got to do what’s best for the athlete. And I think if we start there and just really focus on the fundamentals of the game, the situational football, we’ll be fine. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to play football.”

Hall said he is likely going to continue to coach the cornerbacks in addition to his new duties.

“So I’m going to have to find a balance in that,” he said. “So I may reach out for a (graduate assistant) to help here and there, but ultimately that is still my room.”

The Beavers are already deep into the recruiting process, so Hall said he will contact those players to update them on the situation and assuage any fears they might have about the future at OSU.

“Our players are our priority, our recruits are. So I’ll be on the phone,” Hall said. “I’ve already reached out to a couple of mine and I’ll be on the phone with all of our commitments and assure them that everything’s fine.”

As for his current players, Hall said he is going to introduce them to their new head coach and then move ahead.

“It’s going to be business as usual and we have our eye on the prize and our goal is to compete and win a game this Saturday,” he said. “So that will kind of be my interaction with them and I’ll let them know that I have their best interests at heart.”

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