Wayne Tinkle promises to emphasize effort and attitude as Oregon State’s basketball coach.
Tinkle comes to the Beavers from Montana, where he took the Grizzlies to the NCAA tournament three times during his eight years with the team. Montana finished below .500 only once during his tenure at his alma mater.
The 48-year-old Tinkle was announced as head coach Monday night, and the school held a news conference Wednesday night to introduce him.
“We are going to make Oregon State relevant again,” he said.
Tinkle replaces Craig Robinson, brother-in-law of President Barack Obama, after he was fired earlier this month following six seasons with the Beavers where he failed to make the NCAA tournament.
The once-proud Beavers have not been to the NCAA tournament since 1990.
Tinkle went 158-91 with the Grizzlies, compiling the second-most victories in school history. The only slight on his resume at Montana was an inability to get an NCAA tournament victory, something the Grizzlies have not had since beating Nevada in the first round in 2006.
Montana has a history of producing successful coaches, including Jud Heathcote, Mike Montgomery and Larry Krystkowiak. Heathcote went from Montana to Michigan State; Montgomery went to Stanford; and Krystkowiak left Montana for the NBA before ending up at Utah and starting to turn around the Utes last season.
Tinkle, who played at Montana, was an assistant under Krystkowiak and often draws comparisons to him.
He said he has had several opportunities in past years to leave the Grizzlies, but didn’t find a good fit.
As he did at Montana, Tinkle said he will emphasize “character, discipline, toughness and togetherness.”
“You’ll hear those words spoken often, and there is no compromise,” he said.
Robinson was unexpectedly fired May 5, a little more than a month after athletic director Bob De Carolis announced that Michelle Obama’s older brother would return for a seventh season as basketball coach.
Robinson went 94-105 overall — and 39-69 in the Pac-12 — with Oregon State after spending two seasons as Brown’s head coach. The Beavers made the postseason four times under Robinson but all were appearances in the lower-tier College Basketball Invitational.
Oregon State was 16-16 overall and 8-10 in the Pac-12 this past season, and was bounced in the first round of the CBI by Radford.
De Carolis said Oregon State needed a “new direction and a new leader to take us there.”
“Today is about a fresh start,” De Carolis said.
Tinkle will face a challenge with the Beavers roster decimated by graduation and transfers. Oregon State has no returning starters in 2014-15 after Eric Moreland declared early for the NBA draft, Hallice Cooke decided to transfer and Challe Barton left to play professionally overseas. Leading scorer Roberto Nelson, Devon Collier and Angus Brandt were seniors last season and won’t be back, either.
Cooke announced on Monday that he will play at Iowa State.
Tinkle said he has already spoken to the team and has reached out to recruits Chai Baker and Gary Payton II, son of Oregon State great Gary Payton.
Tinkle has already told the team that they will all attend summer school at Oregon State, to help the players get a jump on academics before the season. He had the same program at Montana.
Oregon State went to the NCAA tournament eight times between 1980-90, including renowned coach Ralph Miller’s Orange Express team in 1981 that went 26-2.
Tinkle, who is Oregon State’s 21st basketball coach, says he will teach his player about the Beavers’ history.
“We need to familiarize our team with the glory years,” he said. “They need to know who was here and what they did in the good years.”
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