Trent Bray was a key piece of Jonathan Smith’s Oregon State coaching staff, all the way from 2018 up until Smith left for Michigan State after the end of this season. According to reports, Bray was part of a group of assistant coaches Smith wanted in East Lansing, but that did not happen.

Instead, Bray remained in Corvallis and is now the head coach to replace Smith after serving as the DC for the Beavers since 2022. At a Wednesday press conference, Bray provided some insight to his side of the situation.

According to Bray, he found out late in the process that Smith was planning to leave Oregon State. He admitted that the way things played out didn’t “sit quite right,” and that ultimately influenced Bray’s decision not to get on the plane for East Lansing.

In the end, Bray said he remained even longer when the idea of becoming the head coach was presented. He referred to staying with the Beavers and taking the job as the “best decision” he’s made.

“I found out real late in the process, and it didn’t sit quite right with me, and that’s why I wasn’t in a hurry to get on the plane when he asked me to go,” Bray explained. “Then when I was presented this opportunity I stayed even longer and wanted to hear this out and see where this could go. Best decision I’ve made.”

Like Smith, Bray is an Oregon State alum after a standout linebacker career for the Beavers from 2002-05. He served as an assistant on staff from 2012-14 before returning to the program in 2018 under Smith.

Now, he’ll get his chance to make the program proud and continue the strong work that Smith started during his tenure.