Former Husky Tara (Bilanski) Erickson Named Oregon Head Coach
Jan. 31, 2005
EUGENE, Ore. - Tara Erickson, who has quickly turned the Portland State women's soccer program into one of the best in the Big Sky Conference, has been named women's soccer head coach at the University of Oregon, the Ducks' Athletics Director Bill Moos announced Monday.
The 31-year old Puyallup, Wash., native arrives in Eugene after posting a 29-38-10 record in four seasons as head coach at Portland State (2001-04) and was tabbed Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year in 2002. She served three years as a women's assistant coach at the University of Washington (1996-98) following a decorated career as a Husky midfielder from 1992-96.
She replaces Bill Steffen, who resigned his position following the 2004 fall campaign after eight years and a career mark of 49-107-14.
In her four seasons with the Vikings, Erickson has transformed one of the Big Sky,s least successful teams into one of its best. She inherited a team that went 5-31-0 the previous two years (1999-2000) and two seasons later, had PSU one goal shy of winning the 2002 conference tournament. For her efforts, she was tabbed Big Sky Coach of the Year as her squad led the league in scoring and fewest goals allowed, becoming only the second PSU coach in any sport to receive the award.
She coached the Vikings to a 13-5-4 record in 2002 and an 8-8-3 mark last season.
Individually, her players have combined for 10 Big Sky first-team all-conference honors since 2001 (including five in 2002 and four in 2004), seven second-team league honors, three newcomer-of-the-year awards (2002, 2004) and 18 offensive/defensive player of the week accolades (including a school record eight in 2004). In 2004, Jamie Blakesley became the second PSU player to win the Big Sky Golden Boot Award as the leading conference point-scorer, and Katie Miyake took the honor in 2002. In the classroom, her Portland State players have been equally successful and landed 25 conference all-academic honors.
In Oregon and Washington soccer circles, she is well-known as a regional head coach for the Region IV Olympic Development Program (ODP), and was head coach of the Washington State ODP U-16 team in 1997 and 1998. She also served as head girl's soccer coach at The Northwest School in Seattle in 2000 and guided the team to the state playoffs.
As a player at Washington, the former Tara Bilanski was a three-time team MVP, four-year letterwinner and captain during her collegiate career from 1992-95. As a junior and senior, she was tabbed to the all-Pac-10 first team and All-America West Team and helped UW to NCAA tournament appearances both seasons.
She finished with school single-season records for goals (12), assists (6) and total points (30), and notched a pair of hat tricks and three-assist games. She still ranks among the top four in school history in virtually every statistical category, including third in goals (27) and shots (175) , fourth in points (74), starts (74) and assists (20) and fifth in game-starts (74), assists (20) and game-winning goals (7).
After college, she was a player-coach for the Washington State Select Women from 1997-99, and played professionally one season in Germany for FSV Frankfurt.
She graduated from Washington with a bachelor's degree in communications in 1996.
Erickson (8-26-73) is married to Kraig Erickson, and the couple are expecting their first child this spring.
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