Erickson Leaves Oregon State For San Francisco 49ers
Feb. 11, 2003
CORVALLIS-Dennis Erickson, Oregon State University football coach for the past four seasons, has resigned to take the head coaching position of the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, it was announced Tuesday by OSU Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis. Erickson leaves the Beaver football team in excellent shape. Under Erickson's leadership, OSU has played in three bowl games over the past four years. The Beavers expect to have another outstanding team in 2003Erickson took over the OSU football program in 1999, replacing Mike Riley, and produced a winning season (7-5) in his first year, including a trip to the Oahu Bowl. Erickson produced a four-year record of 31-17 (.646), including leading the Beavers to bowl games in three of his four years as head coach.
Erickson led OSU to the greatest season in school history in 2000 when the Beavers rolled to an 11-1 record and a 41-9 victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. 'I want to thank Dennis Erickson for what he has accomplished at Oregon State,' said De Carolis. 'He brought respectability back to our football program. He brought instant credibility to our football program and national recognition.
'Through his leadership we were able to put together a successful campaign to build the Merritt Truax Indoor Center, which has been a tremendous asset for all of our athletic teams,' said De Carolis. 'Dennis has been very instrumental in leading the way for our current Raising Reser Stadium project.'
De Carolis emphasized that the football program is in excellent shape. 'Our football program is very stable,' said De Carolis. 'We have outstanding student-athletes currently in our program, a tremendous team coming back in 2003, and we just completed a very successful recruiting class'
OSU President Tim White said he wishes Erickson well in his new job and thanked the football coach for elevating the Beaver football program into one that competes on a national level.
'What Dennis Erickson has done for the program - and the university - is truly remarkable,' White said. 'Not only has he helped elevate the success and visibility of the athletic department, he has played a key role in putting it on a path to sound financial footing.'
White said the football program will continue to move forward with the hiring of a top-level coach and the expansion of Reser Stadium.
'The Reser Stadium expansion is a key component to the future success of the athletic department and will benefit the entire university in a variety of ways,' White said. 'I have full confidence that our many strong supporters will continue to get behind this and other projects as we continue to build a successful athletic program and university.'
Erickson leaves Oregon State as the sixth-winningest active Division 1-A football coach, with a winning percentage of .715 (144-57-1). He was ninth among active Division 1-A college coaches for total victories with 144.
Erickson posted a 7-5 record in his first year, 1999, stopping a 28-year strong of losing seasons for the Beavers. He led OSU to an 11-1 record in 2000, the best mark in school history. His record was 5-6 in 2001 and led the Beavers to a record of 8-5 in 2002, including a trip to the Insight Bowl against Pittsburgh.
Erickson was named Coach of the Year in the Pac-10 for the 200 season, making him one of two coaches in conference history to win the honor at two different schools (he also won the award at Washington State in 1988). In his collegiate career, Erickson was also named Coach of the Year in the Big East Conference (Miami) and in the Big Sky Conference (Idaho).
He was named national Coach of the Year by the Sporting News following the 2000 season.
Erickson coached two national championship teams at Miami (1989 and 1991). De Carolis indicated he has no set time schedule for hiring a new head coach. However, the process will start immediately.