All the rumors were right. Dennis Erickson has joined the Utah coaching staff. The legendary former head coach will work with Brian Johnson to help run the Utes' offense, and, in the process, hopefully turn it around after last year's anemic performance.
Erickson enters this job with 23 years of head coaching experience at both the college and NFL level - though he hasn't been an assistant coach since the 1981 season when he was the offensive coordinator of the San Jose State Spartans. He's considered one of the first innovators of the spread offense and brings a wealth of experience to the program.
So, is this a good hire? Do you think Erickson is the missing link to help turn Brian Johnson into a great offensive coordinator?
I'm guessing, unlike Norm Chow, he's probably not looking to jump ship to the next head coaching gig - but then again, he's younger than Chow and has had a history of program hopping.
But with how poorly Utah's offense was last year, and the fact Johnson still is wet behind the ears, I really do like this move.
I think, jokes aside about his stint with the Sun Devils, Erickson is the most experienced and successful assistant coach the program could ever hope for and I think that'll help with the transition we're still experiencing between the Mountain West and the BCS. As much flack as Chow received for his brief stint here, I think, in retrospect, his background helped the program in ways we didn't see last year with a rookie offensive coordinator. So, even if Chow's time here yielded minor results, it was probably better than had he not accepted the gig. Hopefully we see something similar with Erickson.
It'll be exciting to see what he and BJ have in store for this offense.