Former DeSales High School football standout Brian Lindgren has fashioned quite a track record over the last two-plus decades — both as a quarterback and coach.
He helped lead the Irish to a pair of state championships in 1997 and 1998.
He passed for 6,451 yards at the University of Idaho, which ranks fourth on the school’s all-time list.
Lindgren has forwarded that under-center and shotgun-formation knowledge and background for 16 seasons as an NCAA assistant coach.
The Walla Walla product is currently in his third campaign at Oregon State University. He is the Beavers’ offensive coordinator.
Lindgren spent five years at Colorado before moving to Corvallis. He was stationed at San Jose St. (one year), Northern Arizona (six years), and Redlands (one year) prior to his stint in Boulder, Colo.
Winning back-to-back state titles at DeSales, after a tough loss to Willapa Valley in 1996, was an “awesome experience,” Lindgren said.
“To do that with a lot of guys you grew up with was pretty cool,” Lindgren said. “It was a lot of fun to play in the Tacoma Dome in front of a lot of people on a bigger stage.
“We were frustrated about that loss,” Lindgren said of the Willapa Valley setback. “It motivated us to have a better off-season. It (the state championship) was something we really wanted.”
Then it was on to the University of Idaho. The Vandals competed in both the Big West and Sun Belt Conferences while Lindgren attended.
“They had just come off a nine-win season,” Lindgren said. “The momentum of the program was headed in the right direction. I felt like I fit in really well. The culture was a good fit for me. I met my wife at the University of Idaho.”
U of I went 7-4 in Lindgren’s redshirt season, but was unable to continue the winning ways.
But Lindgren recalled a couple of stellar moments — throwing a school-record six touchdown passes against San Diego St. and a 600-yard plus effort versus Middle Tennessee St.
“I’m still close with a lot of the guys I played with,” Lindgren said. “We didn’t win a ton of games, but I had a good experience.”
Lindgren said he knew he wanted to be involved in sports after graduating from the U of I. He initially considered the administrative side and pursued a masters degree at Gonzaga. A change of heart resulted in a coaching career.
Redlands, an NCAA Division III school, was the first stop on Lindgren’s journey.
He was a graduate assistant and quarterbacks coach for the southern California-based institution.
“I called every coach I knew,” Lindgren said. “Ed Lamb (a Brigham Young assistant and former Idaho defensive coordinator) helped me get hooked in with an interview there.
“(Head coach) “Iron Mike” Maynard taught me the basics of coaching and work ethic,” Lindgren said. “He worked us pretty hard. The kids were there because they loved football.”
Lindgren moved on to Northern Arizona and reunited with a preschool friend.
“Andy Thompson got me set up,” Lindgren said. “He had just finished his first year and was hired full time. I was hired as a grad assistant and coached the receivers. I moved up to running backs coach in 2007.”
Lindgren was promoted twice more at NAU — to quarterbacks coach and pass game coordinator, then offensive coordinator until 2011.
Thompson was the Lumberjacks’ defensive coordinator during Lindgren’s “last couple of years” in Flagstaff.
Lindgren, through a couple of football camp connections, landed the offensive coordinator post at San Jose St. in 2012. The Spartans won 11 games, achieved a No. 21 national ranking, and won the Military Bowl, Lindgren said.
Mike McIntyre was SJSU’s head coach. Both he and Lindgren headed to Colorado the following season.
“The program was down and we knew it was going to be a rebuilding (year),” Lindgren said. “We took our lumps.”
The Buffaloes reversed their fortunes in 2016. Colorado won the Pac-12 South Division Championship and a berth in the Alamo Bowl.
“To turn it around was very rewarding,” Lindgren said.
Another past acquaintance guided Lindgren to his current stop.
Jonathan Smith became Idaho’s quarterbacks coach “as I was leaving,” said Lindgren.
He hosted another ex-DeSales QB — T.J. Conley — for a campus visit at Smith’s request.
Lindgren and Smith stayed in touch and even occasions to share family vacation time with each other.
“He offered me a job,” Lindgren said. “It was a no-brainer — to get back to the Northwest.”
Lindgren believes his current team is headed in the right direction. OSU came within one victory of bowl eligibility in 2019.
“Corvallis is an awesome college town,” Lindgren said. “I love working for Jonathan. I’ve learned a lot. I’m excited about the future.”