Arizona State hires Erickson as coach

December 10th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Arizona State hires Erickson as coach


Associated Press

PHOENIX - Dennis Erickson has accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said Saturday night.
The 59-year-old Erickson spent one season at Idaho in his second stint at the school, going 4-8. He led Miami to two national titles, also has been a head coach at Wyoming, Washington State and Oregon State and coached Seattle and San Francisco in the NFL.
Erickson has a 149-64-1 record in 18 seasons as a college coach. At Oregon State, he took over a program that had an NCAA Division I-record 28 straight losing seasons. His first team in Corvallis went 7-5 and an Oahu Bowl appearance. His second Beavers' team routed Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl to cap an 11-1 season.
Arizona State sports information director Mark Brand had no comment, but Spear said Erickson told him Saturday afternoon that he was accepting the Sun Devils' job.
Athletic director Lisa Love had conducted a secretive search since firing Dirk Koetter, but Erickson's name surfaced as a candidate almost immediately.
Arizona State must pay a $150,000 buyout to Idaho, far less than would have been required in a higher-profile football program. Erickson had signed a five-year deal, and Spear said he was "very disappointed" in the coach's decision to leave after only one season.
"Had we known that we were going to end up in this situation we would never have gone down that road," Spear told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "We made a commitment and we thought we had a commitment from the other end, but I wish Dennis Erickson the best."
Erickson replaces Dirk Koetter, who was fired after going 40-33 in six seasons. Koetter will coach the Sun Devils against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24.
Erickson coached the Seahawks from 1995 through 1998, compiling a 31-33 record. He returned to the NFL for two seasons with San Francisco. His first 49ers team went 7-9 in 2003, but he was fired after a 2-14 record in 2004.
A year ago, Erickson returned to where he started his head coaching career, vowing to stay at Idaho to rebuild the Vandals' long-suffering program. But the Arizona State job apparently was too good to resist.
Erickson's first head coaching job was with Idaho from 1982 through 1985. The former Montana State quarterback coached one season at Wyoming and two at Washington State before moving to Miami.
Under Erickson, the Hurricanes went 63-9 in six seasons and won national championships in 1989 and 1991.
The Sun Devils were 7-5 and are in a bowl game for the third year in a row. Love gave Koetter a three-year, $2.85 million contract extension a year ago, but she decided this season that he couldn't take the program to the level she wants it to be.
Koetter's Sun Devils were 2-19 against ranked teams, 0-12 against Pac-10 teams in California and 21-28 in the Pac-10 overall.

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