[Vandal] Erickson Headed For College Hall Of Fame
robiegruss at aol.com
robiegruss at aol.com
Wed Jan 9 08:23:22 PST 2019
>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoTuesday, January 8, 2019
Erickson Headed For College Hall Of Fame
Former Idaho, WSU boss one of two coaches to be inducted this year
By Dale Grummert
Dennis Erickson, whose highlight-filled coaching career was rooted partly in his repeated stintson the Palouse, is now a national Hall of Famer.
The former Idaho and Washington State boss is one of two coaches to be inducted into theCollege Football Hall of Fame this year, it was announced Monday.
In all, Erickson spent only seven seasons on the Palouse, but his success at Idaho from 1982 to‘85 and at WSU in 1987-88, laid the groundwork for a career that included two national titles atMiami and helped popularize the spread passing attack.
He coached at six schools and garnered 12 bowl bids and six outright or shared conference titlesin 23 seasons.
Also to be inducted into the Hall is former Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals quarterback JakePlummer, who grew up in Boise and now lives in northern Idaho.
Erickson’s early stops at Idaho and WSU in particular were instrumental in propagating theversion of spread offense he’d learned from Jack Elway at San Jose State from 1979 to ‘81. BothPalouse schools continued to employ that offense after Erickson’s departure, and the schemeswere among several influences on present WSU coach Mike Leach when he collaborated withHal Mumme on formulating their Air Raid offense three decades ago.
Erickson led Idaho to a Big Sky Conference crown in 1985, one of his four straight winningseasons for a school that hadn’t tasted even back-to-back such seasons since 1938. He alsocoached the Vandals in 2006.
After a year at Wyoming in 1986, he returned to the Palouse to coach WSU for two years,guiding the Cougars to the Aloha Bowl in 1988, where they beat Houston for their first bowl winin 73 seasons. That won him a gig at Miami, where he went 63-9 in six years and claimednational championships in 1989 and ‘91.
Those Hurricane teams went 35-1 at home and never ranked lower than No. 3 in the final APpolls.
Erickson eventually became the first man to earn Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors for threeschools: WSU, Oregon State and Arizona State. His most recent stint in the conference came asan assistant at Utah.
In his first season at Oregon State in 1999, he led the Beavers to their first winning record in 29years and their first bowl appearance in 35. His best season at Corvallis, Ore., came in 2000,when the Beavers snapped a 33-year losing streak to USC and earned a share of the Pac-10 titlefor the first time since 1964.
Erickson is the fourth WSU coach and the eighth Cougar overall to join the college Hall of Fame.The other coaches were William Lone Star Dietz, Forest Evashevski and Orin Babe Hollingbery. Inducted as players were Glen Turk Edwards, Mel Hein, Rueben Mayes and MikeUtley.
The only other Vandal to make the Hall was quarterback John Friesz, who played under Ericksonfor a year.
Erickson also spent four years with the Seattle Seahawks and two with the San Francisco 49ers.In 2018, at age 71, he was pulled out of retirement in northern Idaho to coach the Salt LakeStallions of the Alliance of American Football, set to begin play next month.
He grew up in Everett, Washington, and was an All-Big Sky quarterback at Montana State.
The only other coach chosen for the Hall this year is Joe Taylor, who won 233 games athistorically black colleges.
Joining Plummer as Hall of Fame players are Vince Young, Raghib Ismail, Darren McFadden,Rickey Dixon, London Fletcher, Jacob Green, Torry Holt, Troy Polamalu, Joe Thomas, LorenzoWhite and Patrick Willis.
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