Wayne Tinkle to Oregon State? Let the speculating continue

2014-05-05T18:23:00Z 2014-05-05T23:50:20Z Wayne Tinkle to Oregon State? Let the speculating continueGreg Rachac The Billings Gazette

Craig Robinson may be President Obama's brother-in-law, but one thing he is not is the head men's basketball coach at Oregon State. Not anymore. Robinson was fired Monday after going 94-105 in six seasons.

When the firing was announced, potential coaching candidates were mentioned on a number of media outlets, including Wayne Tinkle. The Oregonian specifically mentioned Tinkle, Montana's coach for the past eight seasons, as one of five possible candidates, and also points out a couple interesting connections, including one with with former Griz assistant Freddie Owens, who was on Robinson's staff this year at OSU.

Former UCLA (and Northern Arizona) coach Ben Howland, who once guided the Bruins to three consecutive Final Fours, was also mentioned as a candidate on a CBS Sports blog

Of course, this is nothing new. Tinkle's name has been mentioned in connection with a number of openings in recent years, including at Fresno State and, more recently, Washington State. Tinkle has strong recruiting ties in the west, has the energy and personality to invigorate a stagnant program, and he's a proven winner. He is 158-91 (.635) at Montana, and has taken the Griz to three NCAA tournaments. But does Oregon State need to make a splash by hiring a coach with a bigger name?

One X-factor could be Tinkle's son, 4-star recruit Tres Tinkle of Hellgate High. If the Beavers were to ever hire Wayne Tinkle, they may get a package deal and come away with a player that is now ranked 78th nationally in the 2015 recruiting class by 247sports.com. 

That in itself might make Tinkle a greater candidate -- assuming he pursues the opening -- than some would expect.

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Sportswriter for The Billings Gazette covering Montana and Montana State athletics in addition to various high school sports.

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