According to reports, Kyle Whittingham interviewed Dennis Erickson on Tuesday, and has recently said that a coach will be hired in the next week. No offer was extended, but who’s to say it’s not a possibility? Speculation points to Erickson serving as an Offensive Coordinator, much like Norm Chow in 2011. First, Erickson’s pedigree:
Coached University of Miami: 1989-1994, with National Championships in 1989 & 1991
Coached the Seattle Seahawks: 1995-98
Coached the San Francisco 49ers: 2003-04
Coached at Idaho, Washington State, Oregon State, and most recently Arizona State
Along with Jack Elway (yes, John Elway’s father) Erickson is considered one of the fathers of the Spread Offense
Three time PAC 10 Coach of the Year
At 65 years of age, Erickson has definitely seen many, many downs of football. I’m sure he’s forgotten more than I know! Does being fired from Arizona State after failing to win more than 6 games in his final four seasons cause any angst in hiring him? I, for one, say no. Hire him, and hire him now! It’s time to expand a little. A little outside of the Ute family, the comfort zone, if you will, and if you won’t, let me influence you. Erickson brings with him an impressive winning resume, (179-96-1 college) a long storied career in football, and some outside perspective. Perspective which, coincidentally, includes many years in the PAC 10. I’ve said before that we are only in our second year of this conference, and we need a little patience, and I stand by that. But with Erickson coming in, having all the experience and familiarity that he has with the conference would most certainly make an impact…possibly a huge impact right away. His teams have always been very offensively successful, and nothing against Brian Johnson, but his experience at 25 years young is not on par with that of a Dennis Erickson. This hire would also benefit Brian, as he could learn from Erickson until such a time that he could take over…again. Maybe co-coordinators would work?
This would be a great hire for the Utes, and I think would hasten the return to winning, and the ever-so-important bowl games. The Utes could use a little boost, and Erickson just might fit that bill perfectly.