Erickson Named Pacific-10 Coach Of The Year

Nov. 28, 2000

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State's Dennis Erickson was named the Coach of the Year when the Pacific-10 released its all-conference football selections Monday. In just his second year as OSU's head coach, he guided the Beavers to a 10-1 record and a share of the conference championship.

Oregon State had five players named to the all-conference first team: running back Ken Simonton, center Chris Gibson, defensive end DeLawrence Grant, cornerback Dennis Weathersby and placekicker Ryan Cesca. OSU hadn't had more than one player named to the first team since 1972 and had never had five players named to the first team, the previous high for Oregon State was four in 1968.

Four more Oregon State players were named to the All-Pacific-10 second team: wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, offensive tackle Mitch White, linebacker Darnell Robinson and strong safety Terrence Carroll. Six Beavers earned honorable mention: cornerback Keith Heyward-Johnson, defensive end LaDairis Jackson, split end Chad Johnson, tight end Martin Maurer, wide receiver Robert Prescott and quarterback Jonathan Smith.

The teams were selected by a vote of the Pacific-10's head football coaches. OSU and Washington led the way with five first-team selections while Arizona State had four and Stanford and UCLA had three each.

Simonton and California defensive end Andre Carter were the only unanimous selections. Weathersby was the only player from any school to make the first team in both the all-conference and Pacific-10 All-Academic squads, as Weathersby carries a 3.32 grade point average with a major in Liberal Studies.

Joining Weathersby on the all-academic team was defensive lineman Kyle Rosselle, who has a 3.28 GPA with a major in General Agriculture. Earning all-academic honorable mention were tight end Tim Euhus and flanker Seth Trimmer.

Erickson led the Beavers to their first-ever 10-win season, he had also been named Coach of the Year in the Pacific-10 while at Washington State, in the Big East Conference while at Miami, and in the Big Sky Conference while at Idaho. This year, OSU led the conference in scoring offense, scoring defense and total defense and was second in total offense.

Simonton, a junior, became the first player in Pacific-10 history to rush for 1,000 or more yards as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He finished the regular season as the Pac-10's leading rusher with 1,474 yards and the conference's leading scorer with 110 points (18 touchdowns, 2 two-point conversions).

Gibson, a junior, helped clear the way for Simonton and backup Patrick McCall and protected Smith. OSU averaged 411.5 yards and 32.6 points per game this season.

Grant, a senior, was fourth in the conference fumbles forced with four. Weathersby, a sophomore, was ninth in the conference in passes defended with 13 (2 interceptions, 11 breakups). Both were part of an OSU defense that allowed just 314.4 yards and 18.5 points per game.

Cesca, a sophomore, was second in the Pacific-10 in scoring behind Simonton with 85 points. He led the conference in field-goal accuracy at 82.4 percent (14-for-17) and was first among regular kickers in point-after accuracy (43-for-44).

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