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Hall takes over as interim coach at OSU

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

On Monday, Hall was introduced as the Beavers' interim head 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 director of athletics) Scott (Barnes) last night and that was the first (I heard)," Hall said 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 at length soon."

The process to bring in an interim coach was a hurried one for Barnes, but he was solid with his choice.

Barnes spoke to Andersen about Hall but said it was his 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, making a stop at Clovis (California) High before going to Wisconsin as a graduate assistant for the defense.

He coached cornerbacks at Weber State in 2015 and was hired by OSU in 2016.

Hall said he was humbled by the opportunity to take on the interim position.

"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."

The Beavers (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) and Buffaloes (3-3, 0-3) meet at 1 p.m.

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

The Beavers lost to Colorado State 58-27; to Minnesota 48-14; to Washington State 52-23; to Washington 42-7; and fell at USC 38-10 last Saturday.

"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's most likely going to continue to coach the cornerbacks in addition to his new duties.

He said giving it up would be hard due to his relationship with that group of players.

"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 will make sure he contacts 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's 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."

Oregon State assistant coach Cory Hall was selected to take over head coaching duties on an interim basis when Gary Andersen left the program. Hall played safety at Fresno State and in the NFL for Cincinnati and Atlanta. [PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CORVALLIS GAZETTE-TIMES]