Oregon State Football News: Keith Heyward named as new Defensive Coordinator

By Marisol Nicholson

Keith Heyward


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State football head coach Trent Bray announced the appointment of Keith Heyward as the Beavers’ defensive coordinator on Thursday.

Heyward, an Oregon State alum and letterwinner, returns to Corvallis after one season as a defensive quality control coach with the Las Vegas Raiders.

“Keith Heyward is a Beaver and I’m excited to have him back in Corvallis,” Bray said. “Keith has a history of success and getting the most out of his players. He’s a terrific teacher and mentor, and is a great fit to serve as Oregon State’s defensive coordinator.”

Heyward’s return marks his second stint on Oregon State’s coaching staff, following a four-year stretch as secondary coach from 2008-11. He coached seven NFL Draft picks during his first tenure and eight all-conference selections.

The Woodland Hills, Calif., native most recently coached at the collegiate level with UNLV in 2022, working as the Rebels’ defensive coordinator. He coached outside linebackers at California in 2021, and was on the staff at Oregon for four seasons prior, which included three years as co-defensive coordinator. Oregon’s defense went from allowing 41.4 points per game the year before his arrival to 16.5 his third season in Eugene.

Sixteen of Heyward’s 17 seasons as a collegiate assistant coach have been spent on the West Coast, with stints at USC (2014-15), Washington (2012-13) and Cal Poly (2007). His lone season away from the West Coast was with a 9-4 Louisville team in 2016, a Cardinals’ squad that was 14th nationally in total defense.

He played at Oregon State from 1997-2000, making 35 consecutive starts during his career. He made 88 tackles with 23 pass breakups and five interceptions during his collegiate career. He was an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection in his final collegiate season.

Heyward’s appointment is contingent on the completion of all University hiring processes.

Oregon State Athletics strives to Build Excellent Authentic Visionary Student-Athletes (Go BEAVS).