Arizona Basketball

Stoudamire staying with Arizona Wildcats; Oregon State to hire Tinkle


Wayne Tinkle

Wayne Tinkle

“Mighty Mouse” — Damon Stoudamire — won’t save the day for Oregon State, but the Beavers may have saved his potentially prosperous coaching career by looking elsewhere to fill their coaching vacancy.

Oregon State reportedly will hire Montana’s Wayne Tinkle, who will try to make a successful jump from the Big Sky to the Pac-12.

Oregon State’s record since the legendary Ralph Miller retired in 1989: 318-429, a woeful winning percentage of 42.6. The Beavers have endured a 24-year NCAA tournament drought.

Stoudamire, a Portland, Ore., native, was believed to be the front-runner for the job after former UCLA coach Ben Howland removed his name from consideration last week.’s Gary Parrish writes today that Stoudamire had only one phone conversation with Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis after the Howland development.

Stoudamire reportedly was not one of the two finalists for the job before De Carolis decided on Tinkle, a Montana alum who was 158-89 in eight seasons as coach of his alma mater. Tinkle and Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins were the last candidates. Cal assistant coach Travis DeCuire had phone interviews Friday but was no longer in consideration this weekend.

Because of Oregon State’s troubled last 25 years, and Stoudamire’s only three years as an assistant at the major-college level, the former Arizona guard should take this development in stride. A potential higher-profile job should be in Stoudamire’s near future.

Damon Stoudamire will return to Arizona for a second season as an assistant

Damon Stoudamire will return to Arizona for a second season as an assistant

As for Oregon State, the Beavers and De Carolis are counting on big things from Tinkle, a whose team failed to make the NCAA tournament this season after consecutive berths in 2012 and 2013.

The last time a coach from Montana was hired by a Pac-12 program (it was the Pac-10 then) was Mike Montgomery by Stanford in 1986. Utah’s Larry Krystowiak coached at Montana, but he left his alma mater in 2006 for an assistant coaching job with Milwaukee in the NBA.

It took Montgomery 11 years to reach the Sweet 16 and 13 to earn his first conference title with the Cardinal. Stanford stuck with him as he overcame the label of being a Big Sky coach. He coached Stanford to the Final Four in 1998, a year after Arizona won the national title.

Oregon State wants that same kind magic from Tinkle, who has one thing going for him: A laughable tag as the sexiest in college basketball by

The blurb written about Tinkle mentions that he is the Cary Grant of college hoops coaching, which is the same description given for Lute Olson by Dick Vitale when Olson was at his prime at Arizona.

Olson played that part by going to the NCAA tournament every year and winning a national title in 1997.

Oregon State will take an upper-division finish in the Pac-12 – which has happened only once in the last 24 years — under Tinkle and see what happens. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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