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Dennis Erickson

Head Coach, Salt Lake Alliance

Dennis Erickson began his head coaching career at the University of Idaho, quickly becoming the school’s all-time winningest head coach in just four seasons with the Vandals (1982–85), taking them to the I-AA playoffs in his first and fourth seasons. Prior to joining the Vandals as head coach, the program had posted only four winning seasons in over four decades.

After successful stints at Wyoming (1986) and Washington State (1987-88), Erickson replaced Jimmie Johnson as head coach of Miami. In six seasons with the Hurricanes (1989-94), he won two national championships (1989 and 1991). In 1992, Hurricane Andrew ripped through South Florida, forcing Miami coaches, staff and students out of their homes. Despite the adversity, The Hurricanes went 11-0 during the year, defeating three top-10 teams, including two on the road, before falling to second-ranked and undefeated Alabama 34-13 in the Sugar Bowl. Erickson was recognized as Big East Coach of the Year while quarterback Gino Torretta earned the Heisman Trophy, just the second Hurricane to take home the honor, joining Vinny Testaverde in 1986. Erickson accumulated a 63-9 record with the Hurricanes, the highest win percentage in school history.

In 1995, Erickson made the leap to the NFL as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks (1995-98).  In 1997 the Seahawks rode the best passing offense in the league to an 8-8 record with Warren Moon as quarterback. In 1998, his final season at the helm, the Seahawks would again finish at 8-8, falling just short of the playoffs following a controversial loss to the New York Jets.

In 1999, Erickson returned to college as head coach of Oregon State (1999-02). There, he led one of college football’s biggest turnarounds, coaching the team to its first winning season in 29 years and securing an invitation to the 1999 Oahu Bowl, the program’s first bowl appearance in 35 years. In 2000, the Beavers defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, punctuating an 11-1 season that saw a 33-year losing streak to the USC Trojans snapped and included a share of the Pac-10 conference championship for the first time since the conference expanded to ten teams in 1978. Erickson was named Sporting News National Coach of the Year.

Erickson returned to the NFL in February 2003 with the San Francisco 49ers (2003-04) before making a permanent move back to collegiate football. After a season at University of Idaho (2006), he became the head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils. In his first year at the helm, he led the Sun Devils to a 10–2 regular season record, a share of the Pac-10 title, and a berth in the Holiday Bowl. Erickson was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year; the first to ever win the award at three different Pac-10 schools. Erickson served as head coach through the 2011 season before retiring from the game.

In February 2013, Erickson came out of retirement to join the staff at the University of Utah as co-offensive coordinator with Brian Johnson under head coach Kyle Whittingham. Erickson again retired on December 30, 2016 after 47 years of coaching.

 

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