Might Oregon State be interested in bringing back a former football coach once again? Not Mike Riley for a third round, but instead the man who ran the program in between Riley’s two stints.
According to John Canzano of the Oregonian, ex-Beavers coach Dennis Erickson has pitched the Beavers on hiring him to replace Gary Andersen, who resigned in October midway through his third season. Erickson went 31-17 with OSU from 1999-2002, including an 11-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame in 2000.
But there’s a twist: not only is Erickson trying to come back but he plans to bring former OSU quarterback Jonathan Smith with him. Smith is currently Washington’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“His plan includes a ‘coach in waiting’ scenario with Smith,” Canzano said of Erickson, who turns 71 in March and was last a head coach in 2011 at Arizona State where he was 31-31 in five seasons. From 2013-16 he was on Kyle Whittingham’s staff at Utah.
Smith was Erickson’s quarterback at OSU from 1998-2001, throwing for 9,680 yards and 55 touchdowns including 3,053 yards during the Fiesta Bowl season.
This wouldn’t be the first time Erickson re-coached a school. In 2006 he went 4-8 at Idaho, the place he got his first head-coaching job from 1982-86 before going to Washington State (and then Miami, where he won two national championships).
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