MISSOULA, Mont. - After eight decorated seasons as the head coach for the Montana men's basketball program, Wayne Tinkle is stepping up to a new challenge. The UM alum was officially named the new head coach for the men's team at Oregon State University on Monday.
The rumors were finally verified when Oregon State sent out the official release Monday evening.
Tinkle spent the past 13 years, and the entirety of his young coaching career, at the helm of his alma-mater in Missoula. He was hired as a men's assistant in 2001, and took over head coaching duties in 2006.
Tinkle posted a career record of 158-91 and this past season Tinkle moved up to second on the school's all-time coaching wins list.
In the past five seasons Tinkle took the Grizzlies to the NCAA Tournament three times, including back-to-back appearances in 2012 and 2013. Over that five-year span the Grizzlies have an overall record of 110-47, and a Big Sky Conference record of 68-20 in regular-season games.
Oregon State recently fired head coach Craig Robinson at the beginning of May after six years with the team. During his time as the head coach of the Beavers, Robinson never reached the NCAA Tournament and only had one season with a winning record.
The loss of Tinkle to OSU leaves several questions to answer for the Missoula basketball community. First off of course is who will replace Tinkle as head coach of the Montana men's program. The University of Montana will likely try to fill that position as soon as possible so as to not fall behind in the recruiting process.
The next question is whether or not Wayne's son Tres Tinkle, the Montana Gatorade Player of the Year, will remain in Missoula to compete at Missoula Hellgate for his senior season or if he will move to Corvallis, Oregon to finish his prep career.
A press conference in Corvallis, OR to introduce Tinkle as the Beavers men's head coach is set for Wednesday morning. The exact time of that conference is not yet known. Coach Tinkle told NBC Montana on Monday evening that he could not make a comment about the new position until after Wednesday's press conference.