Pac-12: Trent Bray

Mike Riley shuffles staff

January, 16, 2013
Oregon State coach Mike Riley has made room on his staff for graduate assistant Trent Bray as linebackers coach by moving Jay Locey from tight ends coach to an administrative position.

Bray, who had coached linebackers as a GA, is a former Beavers standout at the position from 2002-05. He started 34 games and was first-team All-Pac-12 as a senior and second-team as a junior. He previously coached linebackers at Arizona State.

Locey becomes Riley's "chief of staff," while tight ends will be coached by a new GA.

From the news release from Oregon State:
Locey just completed his seventh season as a coach, the last four with the position responsibility for tight ends and the previous three with the Beaver wide receivers. His new role includes the responsibilities of prescreening of opponents, team building activities, leadership development, career/job placement opportunities for OSU football student-athletes, Varsity “O” Football alumni engagement, fundraising, coordinating incoming football student-athletes into the summer BEST Program (high school to college academic/athletics transition), and high school and community relations.

“I’m very excited to have Jay in this new role,” Riley said. “There is no better person than Jay to fill this crucial role because he has a great football mind, is an excellent communicator and has a genuine ability to connect with people.”

Locey, who officially begins his new role July 1 pending final approval by the university’s administration, came to OSU after a tremendously successful career at Linfield College in nearby McMinnville. He is one of the most successful coaches in the history of small college football. The five-time Northwest Conference Coach of the Year led the Wildcats to the 2004 NCAA Division III title and in 10 years as the head coach, guided the program to a record of 84-18, including a streak of 41 consecutive wins.

The Beavers return a strong pair of outside linebackers next fall -- junior D.J. Alexander and senior Michael Doctor -- but also lose middle linebacker Feti Taumoepeau and top backup Rueben Robinson.
Step out the front door like a ghost into a fog where no one notices the contrast of white on white;
And in between the moon and you, the angels get a better view of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.

Spring update: Oregon State

April, 4, 2012
Maybe Mike Riley is sending a message to Sean Mannion. Maybe not. Maybe Cody Vaz just looked good and the coach wanted people to know it.

Most of the questions surrounding OSU's first spring practice Tuesday were about the running game and Mannion, OSU's second-year quarterback. Riley said Mannion looked good, but also made a point -- a couple of times -- to stress that Vaz looked solid as well.

"I thought Cody Vaz had a real good day," Riley said. "I thought it was good give and take. Good football considering it was pretty much vanilla stuff the first day."

Ok, not exactly grounds for a quarterback controversy, but still worth noting that twice, Riley brought up the back-up.

"Sean has always had a great demeanor," Riley said. "Easy to talk to. Not flustered, I thought that was evident, even more so today in the first day of spring ball. He's always well prepared, makes mostly good decisions. We want to do a better job of being able to protect him and being really precise with our routes. And let him continue to grow in decision making and then I think we have a chance to be real good.

"Again, I'm encouraged by what Cody Vaz did today too. I don't want to leave him out. I think like last spring, he looks good to me."

Day 1 also saw lots of new (and old) faces at practice. Some of those include former Beavers Kyle DeVan, Mitch Meeuwsen and Trent Bray, plus new secondary coach Rod Perry who comes to the team with a wealth of NFL experience.

Riley said there was a "good vibe" as the team worked specifically on fundamentals.

"We've been so disappointed the last two years," Riley said. "We went back, spent all of our offseason, a lot of research. What are we going to do? Now we know a lot of these players. What are we going to do with them? We came out here and it was just step-by-step detail, one inch by one inch.

"... Every minute we get to play with these guys out here is super-important. There are a lot of rules surrounding coaching in the offseason and you can't do this until spring practice. It's real important for us when we get out here that we can utilize this time to the utmost."

In other team news:
  • Defensive tackle Desmond Collins broke a bone in his foot over spring break and will not participate in spring drills. He's expected to be ready by August.
  • Riley said he thought running back Storm Woods might be the best receiver of the backs: "He looks great physically, he's fast ... has the best hands of all the backs and he's the best route-runner of all the backs. He's very gifted."
  • Riley was complimentary of all the running backs -- for good reason: "I thought they all looked pretty good, considering they weren't going to get tackled today. They did OK. They stayed on their feet."
  • Tight end Caleb Smith, who joined the program early out of high school, looked the part, Riley said: "You would not know he is the senior in high school out here. I think 15 practices, have a summer to work out, head into fall camp, I'm not sure why he couldn't be in the mix when we get to the games."
  • The team is honoring defensive tackle Fred Thompson, who died of a heart attack last December, with a 92/FT on their helmets.

Pac-12 lunch links: Draft stock talk

February, 16, 2012
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Trent Bray, a former standout linebacker at Oregon State, is returning to Corvallis as a graduate assistant coach on Mike Riley's staff.

Bray, who spent the past two years as a linebackers coach at Arizona State, started 34 of 49 career games during his playing days at OSU from 2002-2005. He was the defensive MVP of the 2004 Insight Bowl after a 10-tackle performance in a win over Notre Dame. He was a Pac-10 first-team selection as a senior and second team as a junior.

"I'm very excited to have Trent rejoin the program; he's a great addition to our staff," Riley said in a statement. "When he played here I thought he would be a natural as a coach; we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber return to Corvallis."

Bray went on to sign free-agent contracts with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans before moving to NFL Europe.

Bray, the son of former OSU assistant coach Craig Bray, started his coaching career in 2009 in the UFL.

Vontaze Burfict headed to bench

October, 6, 2010
If you love football, you love great linebacker play. So it's hard not to love what Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict can do.

He's one of the most talented linebackers in the nation. His physical skills and instincts suggest the true sophomore is a future first-round NFL draft pick. Just go to YouTube and look up some of his highlights.

But now he's headed to the bench for Saturday's game at Washington. Not because of his play but because of how he conducts himself on the field, which is consistently bad.

He's been flagged for numerous personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in his one-plus year as a starter. Almost all of them fall into the "what-is-he-thinking?" category.

The latest, which inspired coach Dennis Erickson to bench Burfict in favor of senior senior Gerald Munns, who's pretty darn good anyway, is the pointless headbutt Burfict delivered to Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz last Saturday during the Sun Devils 31-28 loss.

What best tells the story is seeing Sun Devils linebackers coach Trent Bray ask Burfict through a baffled, angry expression, "Why did you do that?"

That's the million dollar question -- as in, I wish the NFL would mail me the money Burfict is losing with his behavior.

"This has totally to do with Arizona State and our football program and Vontaze," Erickson told The Arizona Republic. "I want him to be the best he can be, and if he learns from this he'll be the best he can be. He's got that issue, and he's going to overcome it and be a successful player here. At this point, if he does that he just can't play."

Burfict almost never talks to the media. The official explanation for this is he doesn't like to do interviews and that he's shy. The unofficial word is that Burfict needs to be protected.

Before benching Burfict, Erickson said on Monday that opponents were "baiting" Burfict. What Erickson's move on Tuesday shows is a realization that Burfict isn't 10-years-old. Trash-talking -- baiting -- is a part of a physical, emotional game. Burfict needs to grow up. Either that, or he needs to drop this loony persona he's adopting because he believes for some reason -- bad advice from outside the team? -- that it creates an attention-getting aura that might in some through-the-looking-glass way help him professionally.

Vontaze, the NFL is a business of winning. The demented gladiator routine is not a part of the process.

Make the play. Share a howl with your teammates. Then shut up and get back in the huddle.

If you do that, you will become an All-American, first-round NFL draft pick and receive all the benefits that includes.

If you don't, five years from now, you'll be showing YouTube clips to your buddies telling them how good you used to be.

Opening camp: Arizona State

August, 4, 2010
Arizona State opens preseason camp today. Here's a quick look.

Who's back: Three starters on offense, four on defense and both specialists.

Big names: LB Vontaze Burfict, DT Lawrence Guy, K Thomas Weber, P Trevor Hankins

What's new: New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has been charged with fixing an offense that has struggled mightily for three consecutive seasons. Also new are linebackers coach Trent Bray and receivers coach Steve Broussard.

Key competition: Sophomore Brock Osweiler and junior Michigan transfer Steven Threet were in a dead-heat at the end of spring practices. Threet entered spring as a solid favorite, but Osweiler, who struggled in his one 2009 start, surged and made the competition wide-open. It wouldn't be surprising if both saw action in the Sun Devils first two games, which are both against FCS foes.

Breaking out: Brandon Magee and Shelly Lyons will flank Burfict at linebacker and give the Sun Devils an athletic threesome. Oregon transfer Aaron Pflugrad should give the receiving corps a boost. CB Omar Bolden is back after missing most of 2009 and he looked good during spring drills.

Quote: Coach Dennis Erickson on the QB competition: “You’d like to name one before the first game, but you never know. The good thing is that we have two good quarterbacks and that will help us as the season goes on.”

Notes: The Sun Devils lost their top-two guards to knee injury: Jon Hargis and Zach Schlink... Bray is defensive coordinator Craig Bray's son as well as a former two-time All-Pac-10 linebacker for Oregon State... The Sun Devils have the fewest returning starters in the Pac-10... They are coming off their first consecutive losing seasons since 1946-47... Erickson hadn't posted consecutive losing seasons in 19 years as a head coach until last year... The Sun Devils lost four games by five or fewer points, including three on late field goals in 2009... ASU was tapped ninth in the preseason Pac-10 media poll.

ASU hires Bray as linebackers coach

March, 2, 2010
Trent Bray is the new linebackers coach at Arizona State.

Bray, a former linebacker at Oregon State from 2002-2005, was an assistant coach for the California Redwoods of the United Football League last year. Bray was a Sun Devils graduate assistant for linebackers in 2007 and 2008.

Defensive coordinator Craig Bray, who coached linebackers last season, will oversee the safeties, with assistance from cornerbacks coach Greg Burns.

A member of Dennis Erickson’s 2001 signing class at Oregon State, Trent Bray started 34 of 49 career games.

As a junior in 2004, he collected 122 tackles and was named second-team All-Pac-10. He also earned Insight Bowl Defensive MVP honors by making an Oregon State-bowl record 10 tackles in a victory over Notre Dame. He was selected co-captain of the Beaver football team as a senior and earned first-team all-Pac-10 honors.