Erickson can't resist shot at big time

December 11th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Erickson can't resist shot at big time


Associated Press

PHOENIX - There was no official word on Dennis Erickson getting the Arizona State coaching job on Sunday. That will come Monday.
The school scheduled a noon MST news conference to introduce the new coach, and there was no doubt who it would be.
The well-traveled Erickson had abandoned his plans for a career-ending stint at Idaho, where his head coaching career began in 1982.
Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said Erickson told him Saturday that he was taking the Arizona State job.
At 59, he apparently couldn't resist one more shot in a big-time program.
Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love, at the news conference announcing the firing of Dirk Koetter, made it clear she believes the Sun Devils should be better than their recent record of mediocrity in the Pac-10.
She turned to a coach who brings a winning resume but also some baggage, including NCAA violations during his time at Miami and a drunken driving arrest while he was coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
Those events occurred years ago, however. More recently, Erickson took over an Oregon State program that had an NCAA-record 28 consecutive losing seasons. The Beavers were 7-5 in his first year and in his second season, capped an 11-1 campaign with a 41-9 rout of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
Erickson left Corvallis after three seasons for a five-year, $12.5 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers, but he lasted just two seasons. He was fired after a 2-14 campaign in 2004 and was out of coaching in 2005.
But he said he wasn't ready to quit, and went back to Idaho.
"I just thought it was an opportunity for me to come back, give back and get back to coaching college football - my first love," Erickson said at the news conference to announce his Idaho hiring.
He signed a five-year contract for relatively paltry $200,000 per season, and told Spear that this would not be a brief stop en route to a new job.
Erickson decided otherwise, though, and the Arizona State job will be his third in the Pac-10. He inherits a program that has been to bowl games three straight years, but was just 2-19 against ranked opponents in the past six seasons under Koetter.

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