PHOENIX -- There was no official word on Dennis Erickson
getting the Arizona State coaching job on Sunday. That will come
The school scheduled a 2 p.m. ET 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
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
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
drunk 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 four 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, the
first of the six schools where he has coached in his long career.
"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 athletic director Rob 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 is just 2-19 against
ranked opponents in the past six seasons under Koetter.