By Kevin Hampton

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Next up

No. 22 Stanford at Oregon St.

When: 6 p.m. Oct. 26


With last week’s abrupt departure of Gary Andersen, who agreed to part ways with Oregon State midway through his third season as coach, the Beavers are on the lookout for a new football frontman.

Cory Hall, previously Oregon State’s cornerbacks coach, is serving as the program’s interim head coach.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of potential candidates for the opening:

Beau Baldwin

Baldwin, 45, is in his first season at California as the offensive coordinator.

OSU fans know him from his time as the head coach at Eastern Washington, where he led the Eagles to a 49-46 win over the Beavers in the 2013 season opener.

Baldwin was 85-32 in nine seasons at EWU, and the Eagles made the FCS playoffs five times and won the title in 2010.

It’s early, but the news that Nebraska has hired athletic director Bill Moos away from Washington State could indicate a move for Cougars coach Mike Leach as well. That job could be a big lure for Baldwin if it opens.

Mike Riley

We all know the story here. Riley is currently at Nebraska after two stints at OSU.

With dominoes falling at Nebraska, Riley could be on his way out and would be available for a third go-around with the Beavers.

It does not seem to be a likely scenario, but Riley did take the Beavers to eight bowl appearances between 2003 and 2013.

Riley is 64 and could be thinking more about retirement than taking on another football challenge.

Bronco Mendenhall

Although fans tend to associate Mendenhall with Brigham Young as a coach, he did play for the Beavers from 1986-87.

He spent the two seasons after his playing career as a grad assistant and defensive line coach at OSU, and returned to coach the defensive line in 1995 and was the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach in 1996.

Mendenhall, 51, eventually wound up at BYU, where he became the head coach in 2005. He left for Virginia in 2015. He is 106-54 overall as a head coach and won two conference titles with the Cougars. The Cavaliers are 7-1.

Ken Niumatalolo

This one could be a stretch, as Niumatalolo has been the coach at Navy starting with the 2008 season.

He is from Hawaii and getting closer to home might be a draw, as well as the opportunity to lead a Power Five program.

Niumatalolo, 52, has gone 82-43 and has been to bowl games in all but one of his seasons. He coaches a run-based option offense.

Mike Norvell

Another coach with Pac-12 ties, Norvell began his first season at Memphis in 2016 after serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona State from 2012-15.

Norvell, 36, was at Tulsa from 2007-10 and was the co-offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh in 2011.

Norvell went 8-5 in his first season with the Tigers and is 5-1 so far this year. He has put together an explosive offense that focuses mainly on the pass game.

Rocky Long

It has been some time since Long was a defensive coordinator at Oregon State (1991-95), and he has made quite a few stops in his coaching career.

The 67-year-old Long is also firmly entrenched as the San Diego State coach, but there is always the lure of the Pac-12.

He has built a solid program in San Diego, going 8-5 twice and 9-4 once, and is coming off back-to-back 11-3 seasons. The Aztecs are 6-1 in 2017.

Dennis Erickson

Another blast from the past, Erickson would be an interesting choice.

Erickson is 70 and retired, but was coaching at Utah as recently as 2016 and might be up for another shot if given the chance.

There is no denying his success before and during his time at Oregon State. Erickson has been a part of two major moments in OSU football history. His 1999 team broke through for the program’s first winning season since 1970 and a bowl game.

In 2000, the Beavers went 11-1 and blitzed Notre Dame in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. OSU went 5-6 in 2001 but bounced back with an 8-5 season in 2002.

Jedd Fisch

He is the offensive coordinator at UCLA and is relatively young at 41 but has already compiled an impressive résumé.

Fisch went directly from a spot on the Florida staff as a grad assistant to the NFL sidelines. He made stops at Houston, Baltimore and Denver before landing in Minnesota as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for a season. He coached quarterbacks in Seattle in 2010 and then spent two seasons at the University of Miami as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach before returning to the NFL and working as the Jacksonville OC in 2013-14.

After two seasons as an assistant at Michigan, Fisch was hired to run the UCLA offense. The Bruins are No. 2 nationally in passing offense with 399.7 yards a game.

Jonathan Smith

A fan favorite due to his playing career at OSU, Smith has been working his way up the coaching ranks.

Smith, 38, has been the offensive coordinator at Washington since 2014. He was the quarterbacks coach at Boise State from 2012-14 and the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Montana in 2010-11. He also coached quarterbacks at Idaho.

Oregon State would be a logical leap for Smith, but he might not be quite at the point in his career to make such a significant step.