oregon state blog

Craig Robinson’s job officially on the fence

Beavers in need of change

The NCAA tournament is coming to a close, and with it another disappointing Beavers hoops season will officially be behind us—granted it was over a long time ago.

Oregon State seemed to be back on track last season, winning over 20 games and getting to the CBI’s semifinals. Entering 2012-13 with arguably his most talented squad with the program, Craig Robinson had all he needed to lead the Beavs back into prominence.

But once again the Oregon State coach failed to deliver. And even though the University might not admit it, something’s got to give.

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Emphasis on hard work and the fundamentals

If Craig Robinson has instilled anything into OSU, it’s the value of hard work and fundamentals.

In the 2007-08 season, the Beavers shot just 37.3 percent from the field, 29 percent from three-point range while allowing opponents 70.8 points per game.

The next season—in Robinson’s first year as coach with virtually the same roster—the Beavers posted a 46.7 field-goal percentage, 35.6 three-point percentage and allowed opponents 63.3 points a game.

Every Robinson-led Beaver team has shot well above 40 percent from the field, and defense remains an improving part of OSU’s game.

craig robinson OSU

Unfortunately, Robinson wasn’t all smiles in 2012-13.

Coach Robinson knows how to build a winning team, and he does everything he can to make sure his players know the fundamentals.


You can’t talk Craig Robinson and not discuss his connections. It’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s the brother-in-law of the President of the United States.

Obviously it’s given a boost to recruiting, helping the school to build more notoriety. It’s also helped get Oregon State on the national stage, and paved the way for exciting events such as the First Lady giving a speech at last year’s graduation ceremony.

Probably the best thing Robinson’s done since joining OSU is up the recruiting game. The program still isn’t bringing in five-star recruits, but it’s better off now than it was a few years ago.

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Inability to win in conference

The Beavers opened their 2012-13 season 10-4. After navigating a tough out of conference schedule, they looked poised for a possible NIT or NCAA run with strong Pac-12 play.

Then conference play began, and the Beavers went 4-14 the rest of the way.

Coach Robinson has never posted a winning record in conference play. That’s almost understandable, since the Pac-12 is tough on rebuilding programs such as Oregon State.

Can Robinson find a way to save his job? (Don Ryan / AP)

Can Robinson find a way to save his job? (Don Ryan / AP)

But the Beavers haven’t even come close under Robinson. The closest they’ve come to a winning record in conference over the last five seasons was 2009-10’s 8-10.

Those struggles have continued into the postseason as well. Oregon State has lost in the first or second round of the Pac-12 tournament in four of the last five seasons. The furthest it has gotten was the semifinals in 2012.

Struggles to adapt

Coach Robinson has never reacted well to change, and that could be why a coaching change is just what Oregon State needs.

The inability to adapt has been present on the court. The Beavers have had countless games over the last five seasons where they either:

A) Fall behind early and fail to battle back. They can’t adjust to what the opponent is throwing their way.

B) Take an early lead, causing the opposing team to make adjustments. The Beavers then fail to adapt to those changes, and lose the lead late in the game.

There’s also been an inability to adjust to changes out of games. Robinson has had problems working around injuries, which is a huge reason this year’s team struggled.

A good coach knows how to wade through those injury filled waters, and he doesn’t let the loss of one player finish off his team’s season. Coach Robinson has failed to do that time and time again.


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