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Utah hires Erickson as co-offensive coordinator

The SportsXchange

The University of Utah announced Monday that it hired Dennis Erickson as co-offensive coordinator.

Erickson, 65, has won two national championships and coached six teams -- including three in the Pac-12. He most recently coached at Arizona State from 2007-11.

"Dennis Erickson brings a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to our program," coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. "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."

He will share a role with existing offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. Johnson, 26, completed his first year on the job. The Utes' offense was 11th in the Pac-12 in total offense and last in passing offense. They average only 190.7 yards passing per game. They were also eighth in scoring at 26.7 points per game.

"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."

Utah is coming off a 5-7 season, including 3-6 in the Pac-12, and did not qualify for a bowl game for the first time in nine years.

Erickson won national titles with Miami in 1989 and 1991. Among his six college stops, he coached in the Pac-12 at Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State. He is the only coach to earn Pac-10 or Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors with three different schools. He is 179-96-1 in 23 college seasons. He went 31-31 with the Sun Devils.

He also coached the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.
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