Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Jonathan Smith introduced as new Michigan State head football coach

Jack Moreland
MSU’s new head football coach Johnathan Smith (left) shakes hands with MSU Vice President and Athletic Director Alan Haller at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 at the Breslin Center.

EAST LANSING – With the hiring of former Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith, Michigan State football began a new era, by introducing the 26th head coach in school history on Tuesday afternoon at the Breslin Center. 

“I think Michigan State is a place where you can develop. Diving into a team meeting yesterday, diving into the idea of being a program, a program of substance on and off the field,” Smith said. “We want to be a place of substance on and off the field. We are gonna be process-oriented, and this takes a minute.”

The announcement of Smith is a fresh start for the Michigan State football program that fired former head coach Mel Tucker three weeks into the season, was outscored 170-10 against No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Washington, No. 6 Ohio State, and No. 10 Penn State, and failed to make a bowl game for the second consecutive year, going 4-8.

Smith, who went 25-13 the past three seasons at Oregon State, has already brought in five assistant coaches from his former school, according to reports. Those coaches are expected to be offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren, offensive line coach Jim Michalczik, running backs coach Keith Bhonapha, tight ends coach Brian Wozniak, and secondary coach Blue Adams.

An alma mater of Oregon State, Smith talked about his transition from the west coast to East Lansing.

“I thought a lot of what I value, which, wherever I’m at, I’m gonna value these things – the family piece, the community network, a passionate fan base, the opportunity to win, the resources available to win, a community that is invested to win, I feel like all of that was here,” Smith said. 

According to MSU athletic director Alan Haller, Jonathan Smith will receive a seven-year contract at $7.25 million per year annually. 

“At the end of the day, this is probably the last football coach I’ll hire as the AD here at Michigan State, and I understand that,” Haller said. “This will be the last coach that I hire at Michigan State, and I know that. We had to get this right.”


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About the Contributors
Jay DeCoster, Sports Editorial Assistant
Jay is a senior studying Mediated Communications at Michigan State. He joined Impact in September of 2021 as a volunteer. Jay is the Michigan State Football & women's soccer beat reporter for the Impact sports department. His interests include supporting his favorite Chicago sports teams, and golfing in the summer. "If you got a dream, chase it, 'cause a dream won't chase you back" - Cody Johnson
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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