As Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith finds his name linked to the college football coaching carousel, the Beavers are making efforts to fend off potential suitors. Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said Wednesday that securing a new contract for Smith is at the top of his priority list as the school looks to secure Smith's long-term future in Corvallis, Oregon

"Coach Smith and I have had ongoing conversations for more than a month regarding his future at Oregon State and our path forward for football specifically and our athletic department generally," Barnes said in a statement. "He has embraced our short and long term plans. My No. 1 priority is providing him with a new contract and guaranteed compensation that will help continue the success of the football program that has benefitted Oregon State University and Beavers' Athletics. 

"Coach Smith and I have also discussed our commitment to extending assistant coaches' contracts and increasing the salary pool for his staff to retain the continuity of what they have all built together for Beaver Nation."

In September, Smith was identified as a candidate for the vacancy at Michigan State after the Spartans fired coach Mel Tucker for cause. Power conference vacancies have since opened at Texas A&M and Mississippi State, and that list will certainly grow as dominoes fall in the coaching carousel. 

The 44-year-old Smith has served as Oregon State's coach since 2018. While he is 34-34 overall at the helm, he and the program have been on an upward trajectory. Smith gained praise for leading the Beavers to 10 wins and an No. 17 AP Top 25 finish in 2022, marking Oregon State's first 10-win season since 2006 and highest AP finish since 2000. The Beavers' success has continued in 2023. Oregon State sits 8-3 and No. 16 in the College Football Playoff Rankings entering its season finale against Oregon in Week 13. 

Smith's success comes amid a cloud of uncertainty for Oregon State, which has not received an invitation to another power conference as the Pac-12 prepares to lose 10 of its 12 members to other leagues in 2024. Washington State is the only other Pac-12 leftover. Sources told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd that two remaining Pac-12 schools recently engaged with the Mountain West on a potential scheduling partnership as they navigate choppy realignment waters.