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Utah football: Former ASU coach Dennis Erickson interviews with Utes

Published February 5, 2013 7:39 pm

College football • Potential addition to Utah staff has won two national titles.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

First it was Norm Chow, now it could be Dennis Erickson's turn. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, in an effort to add experience and a depth of offensive knowledge to his staff, could tab former Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson as his new assistant.

The 65-year-old Erickson, who has coached in the pro and college ranks, confirmed he interviewed with Whittingham on Tuesday.

"I enjoyed it," he said before boarding a plane to Phoenix. "They have good people there and a good staff; obviously Kyle has a good staff there so we will see."

Erickson said no offer was made.

"There is nothing yet," he said. "We'll see what happens."

After several stints in the college and pro ranks, Erickson most recently coached at ASU from 2007-11 where he went 10-3 in his first season, but failed to win more than six games in his final four years. He was fired on Nov. 28, 2011.

If Erickson joins Utah's staff, he could fill a role similar to the one Chow had in 2011, when he served as offensive coordinator.

Brian Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator last year when Chow left for Hawaii, but Whittingham has shown a willingness to move personnel and create new job titles to fill his staff, as he did for Chow. Erickson would add experience to one of the youngest coaching staffs in the country as well as offensive know-how.

He is regarded as one of the so-called fathers of the spread offense after he and Jack Elway, John Elway's father, learned the offense from John Elway's high school coach and honed it during their time at San Jose State.

This is the second time Erickson is known to have interviewed for a job in the state of Utah. He was a finalist for the head coaching job at Weber State following the 1980 season, but was passed over in favor of Mike Price.

He was hired as Idaho's coach a year later. Erickson's long coaching career has included stints at Pac-12 schools Washington State (1987-88), Oregon State (1999-2002) and ASU. Most notably, he was head coach at the University of Miami from 1989-1994, going 63-9 (.875) and winning national championships in 1989 and 1991.

He also coached at Seattle (1995-98) and San Francisco (2003-04) in the NFL.