Dennis Erickson named to College Football Hall of Fame
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Former Washington State Football Head Coach Dennis Erickson has been named to the College Football Hall of Fame.
According to Washington State Athletics, the 2019 Hall of Fame class includes the names of 13 First Team All-America players and two standout coaches. The inductees were selected from the national ballot of 76 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Dennis Erickson coached at six colleges and led his teams to 12 bowl games and at least a share of six conference titles in 23 successful seasons as a head coach.
He became the first coach to earn Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors at three different institutions.
Erickson is the fourth Cougar coach and eighth overall Cougar elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, joining William “Lone Star” Dietz (Coach), Glen “Turk Edwards (Player), Forest Evashevski (Coach), Mel Hein (Player), Orin “Babe” Hollingbery (Coach), Rueben Mayes (Player) and Mike Utley (Player), WSU Athletics reports.
Erickson began his head-coaching career in 1982 at Idaho, where he became the first coach since 1938 to post consecutive winning seasons at the school and the first coach in Vandals history to have four-consecutive winning seasons.
Erickson led Idaho to the Big Sky Conference title in 1985 and two trips to the FCS Playoffs. Following a one-year stint as the head coach at Wyoming in 1986, he took over the program at Washington State for two seasons. In his second year, Erickson was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to their first nine-win season since 1930 and their first bowl victory in 73 seasons – a win over Houston in the 1988 Aloha Bowl.
Erickson would see his greatest success at Miami from 1989-94, posting a 63-9 record and an 87.5 winning percentage, which remains the highest in school history.
The only coach to win two national titles at Miami, his Hurricanes took home the crown following the 1989 and 1991 seasons while playing in two other national championship games in 1992 and 1994. The 1989 national title earned Erickson the distinction of being only the second Division I head coach to win a national crown in his first season at a school.
The 1991 Miami squad would be named national champion after becoming the second team in school history to finish 12-0. Erickson claimed conference coach of the year honors and guided the Canes to conference titles in three-of-four seasons after Miami joined the BIG EAST in 1991.
Erickson had a 35-1 home record at Miami and led the team to bowl games in all six seasons. The Hurricanes never finished lower than No. 3 in the final polls from 1989-92.
After a four-year stint as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Erickson took over the program at Oregon State in 1999 and sparked a massive turnaround. In his first season, he led the Beavers to their first winning season in 29 years and their first bowl appearance in 35 years. Erickson’s best season at Oregon State came in 2000, when helped the program snap its 33-year losing streak to USC and earn a share of the Pac-10 Conference title for the first time since 1964.
The Pac-10 Coach of the Year that season, he guided Oregon State to an 11-1 record, a win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl (the school’s first major bowl appearance since 1965) and the No. 4 final ranking (the highest finish in school history). Erickson’s 64.6 win percentage is the highest among Oregon State coaches with more than three seasons at the helm.
After two seasons as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and one return season at Idaho, Erickson took his final head-coaching job at Arizona State in 2007. In his first season, he once again claimed Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors after leading the Sun Devils to a 10-win season and a share of the Pac-10 title.
Over his entire career, Erickson’s teams boasted 10 top 25 finishes, including five in the top five. The two-time Sporting News College Coach of the Year coached 67 first team all-conference selections, three NFF National Scholar-Athletes and 21 First Team All-Americans, including College Football Hall of Famers Russell Maryland and Gino Torretta at Miami and Mike Utley at Washington State.
A native of Everett, Washington, Erickson was a two-time All-Big Sky quarterback while leading Montana State to three conference titles. Before his first head-coaching job at Idaho, he served as an assistant coach at Montana State, Idaho, Fresno State and San Jose State as well as one season as a high school head coach when he was just 23 years old. From 2013-16, Erickson came out of retirement to serve as an assistant coach at Utah. He is a member of the University of Miami Sports, State of Washington Sports, University of Idaho Athletics and State of Montana Football halls of fame. Erickson has once again come out of retirement to be the head coach of the Salt Lake Stallions in the Alliance of American Football, a new professional league that will kick off in February 2019.
Dennis Erickson, 179-96-1 (65.0%)
University of Idaho (1982-85, 2006)
University of Wyoming (1986)
Washington State University (1987-88)
University of Miami [Fla.] (1989-94)
Oregon State University (1999-02)
Arizona State University (2007-11)