Kyle Whittingham announced a major addition to his coaching staff on Monday, naming Dennis Erickson as co-offensive coordinator.
Erickson brings an impeccable resume with him to Utah. He has been the head coach of six different FBS programs, including Pac-12 rivals Arizona State and Oregon State. Erickson was twice named national coach of the year (in 1992 and 2000) and won two national championships as the head coach of Miami. He is also a three time Pac-12 coach of the year. Erickson's coaching career includes stints as the head coach of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
"Dennis Erickson brings a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to our program," said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham in a statement released to the media. "He has been labeled as one of the original architects of the spread and we are looking forward to the impact he will have on our offense. Coach Erickson also has recruiting connections across the country which should benefit us on that front as well."
Impact on the Program
Erickson's hiring is a major coup for Whittingham, who was looking to upgrade the experience on the offensive staff. Erickson has long been credited as an offensive innovator, and has developed a reputation for implementing high-powered offenses at each of his stops. Although it has yet to be determined which specific position groups he'll work with on a day-to-day basis, Erickson's role in the coaching staff will be to provide an experienced voice to the entire offensive staff. He will be heavily involved with game planning, but Brian Johnson is likely to retain his play calling duties on gameday.
Impact on Recruiting
On the recruiting front, Erickson brings with him a deep network of recruiting contacts and a reputation as a likeable recruiter that should open doors for the Utes. Erickson is not expected to recruit to a specific geographic area, but will instead have a more targeted focus, and will concentrate his efforts on high-profile recruits scattered throughout the country.
Erickson fills the coaching vacancy left when Chad Kauha'aha'a left to coach the defensive line at Wisconsin.