Posted: Feb 11, 2013 11:12 AM by MTN Sports/CBS Sports
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 12:53 PM
Dennis Erickson, the former Montana State player and coach is returning to college football after being hired as the University of Utah's co-offensive coordinator. Erickson played for the Bobcats as a quarterback in the late 1960's and was eventually hired by legendary Bobcat Sonny Holland as an assistant.
"I want to thank Kyle Whittingham and the University of Utah for the opportunity to get back into college football," Erickson said in a statement. "Being around football players and coaches has been my life and that's why I'm coming out of retirement. I will do whatever I can to help the players and coaches at Utah be successful and I am excited to get back out on the football field."
Erickson interviewed with Utah last week and the school made the hire official Monday. He will share the offensive coordinator duties with former Utah quarterback Brian Johnson. Johnson, former all-confernece quarterback for the Utes, was promoted to offensive coordinator when Norm Chow left to become the head coach at Hawaii before the 2012 season.
The challenge for Erickson, 65, and Johnson, 26, will be to improve a Utes offense that finished 2012 as the 75th-best scoring offense -- as well as the 100th-best (or 24th-worst) passing offense. According to Whittingham, Erickson's knowledge of the spread offense is one of the many reasons the coaching staff is excited about the addition.
"Dennis Erickson brings a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to our program," Whittingham said. "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."