Gary Andersen is going through a rough time.
In his first season at Oregon State, Andersen is ankle deep in a rebuild. His Beavers sit at 2-3 on the year, with wins over Weber State and San Jose State, and losses to Michigan, Stanford and Arizona by a combined 121-38.
Andersen has been here before, though. He went 4-8 in his first season at Utah State in 2009 - in what was considered a decent season at the time for the Aggies - and 11-2 three years later. That success led him to Wisconsin, which led him to Oregon State.
And now he's back in that place again. Following a 44-7 loss to Arizona over the weekend, Andersen was asked his message to his team in the midst of tough times. But in his passioned response, he also offered a blueprint for coaches going through their own tough seasons:
You're gonna be challenged. You're gonna be upset. But we are where we are, and it's a game that we play. I've got a smile on my face. I'm moving around. I'm frustrated. I want to win. But I love the challenge that we're in. And you have to understand, that is what we do. We play to compete. We're trained to battle every single day and do something that not very many people in the world get to do — go out and play on this stage in this conference. We are where we are because we deserve to be where we're at. It's a lot easier to have fun and smile when you're winning, yes. This is a process. Every time we lose a game, it's unexpected, absolutely. But did we expect adversity? Yes. And I think that's important to show that with your kids that the good times are earned, but the bad times can't ruin your life. Then I try to explain to the kids, with the morale side of things, I told them today, I said, "This is hard times, but only in football." It's not life or death. Almost every kid in that room has been through something way more tragic than what we're talking about right now. It's not the end of the world, but it's got to mean a lot to all of us. I've been blessed in my life. I've gone through some tragic things, but not even close to what a lot of those kids in that room have gone through. End of the world? Absolutely not. Does it matter if you just cave in these moments and just go to the next game and say it doesn't matter? Then I think that's a horrible message as a coach to send to a kid for the rest of his life, quite frankly, let alone his football life. We take it hard. We move on. We've moved on to this point. Like I always say, never forget it, but let's go to the next one and work on getting better and be as good as we can and see what happens.