Bryce Erickson heading to the University of Idaho

2012-12-05T06:00:00Z 2012-12-05T08:18:17Z Bryce Erickson heading to the University of IdahoBy Jesse Sowa, Albany Democrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald
December 05, 2012 6:00 am  • 

It was an opportunity Bryce Erickson just couldn’t pass up.

Erickson arrived at South Albany High School this past summer and brought with him a new energy and hope for the future.

But the chance to get back into Division I college football came calling.

Erickson has been hired an assistant coach at the University of Idaho under recently hired head coach Paul Petrino, brother of former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino.

Erickson, the son of former NFL and college head coach Dennis Erickson, was offered the Idaho job Monday night and accepted it after talking with his family.

His last last day at South Albany, where he was a weight room teacher in addition to head football coach, is today.

“I couldn’t turn it down,” Erickson said in a phone interview Tuesday evening.

Thursday he’ll fly to Moscow, Idaho, to start his new position. By Friday he will likely be headed for California to recruit junior colleges for the Vandals.

Erickson said the number-one factor in taking the Idaho job was financial. The change will allow him to double his currently salary.

There was also his goal of eventually becoming a collegiate head coach, and this was a step in that direction.

Erickson met with South Albany football players Tuesday to give them the news.

The Rebels went 3-6 this past fall, with wins against North Eugene, Dallas and Woodburn.

South was coming off a 2011 season in which the Rebels went

0-9 with just one game decided by fewer than 19 points.

Erickson took over for Tony Matta, who moved into a new role as South’s athletic coordinator at the start of the current school year.

“Bryce is a coach that’s able to cast vision for young kids,” South principal Brent Belveal said. “An absolute blessing for us, even if he was here for a short time.”

Erickson said the biggest element he tried to bring with him to the South program was “just confidence and belief in yourself. I wanted to instill confidence in them and let them know somebody believes in them.”

A first-time teacher, Erickson said he gained a great deal of respect and admiration for teachers during his time at South.

He appreciated the support he got from the players’ parents and the greater community.

“I really would have liked to see this thing play out,” he said.

The move allows Erickson to be closer to his father, who lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, roughly 84 miles from Moscow.

Dennis Erickson spent several weeks in Albany this past season helping his son with the South program.

“This is back to the roots of coaching right here,” he said during a South practice in August. “Just seeing them improve and get better is what it’s all about.”

Bryce Erickson was previously an assistant coach at Arizona State, where his father was the head coach for five years through the 2011 season.

Prior to the Sun Devils, Erickson coached offense at New Mexico Highlands, his alma mater, for three seasons.

Copyright 2015 Albany Democrat Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. lovemyrebs
    Report Abuse
    lovemyrebs - December 05, 2012 1:21 pm
    For the past several seasons, South Albany Varsity Football has not been as successful as we had hoped. South Albany knew they needed to move in a different direction so when Coach Bryce Erickson chose to come to South, everyone was very excited. When Coach Erickson arrived on campus, he brought with him a burst of energy and confidence that South Albany football boys needed. Our boys responded to everything that was asked of them by Coach Erickson. He made them work together as a team, believe in themselves again and most importantly have PRIDE in who they were and where they came from. They are SOUTH ALBANY REBELS! Our stands were full again and the crowd was excited and engaged in the game. We won more games this year than total of the past few years. It’s the beginning of a new South Albany program, the future!!

    So, it’s with great disappointment that we have to say Goodbye to Coach Erickson.

    We can choose to look at it in several different ways.
    1. It sucks, he didn’t stick around, he left us and on and on and on
    2.We won games this year but we won more than that. We won our PRIDE, our FAITH and our DETERMINATION to succeed back, thing’s we have been missing for a long time. We were honored and blessed enough to have a NFL and two- time College National Championship winning coach interact and help coach our boys (even if was only for a year). Our Coach will now be a College football coach that we can watch and root for on television. My son had the privilege of being coached by both of these men, something he will cherish the rest of his life. Not many high school kids can say that.

    The final score of the game does not define who these boys are. It’s the integrity, pride, determination, faith and many other things that Coach Erickson has helped them remember. The Rebel program may have taken a step back by losing Coach Erickson but he can leave knowing that he has done great things for these boys.

    Thank you and good luck Coach Erickson for everything, you made an impact on the Rebel community and we are forever grateful.

  2. RebelProud
    Report Abuse
    RebelProud - December 05, 2012 9:38 am
    I would like to say Thanks to Bryce for all he did for our boys this past year. The attitude on campus and on the football team was enjoyable to watch. He will do a great job at Idaho and it will be fun to follow his career as he moves forward. I hope he knows he always has a place at South Albany and it would be fun for him to come back and visit. The experience of having him and his dad here is one I believe my son will cherish through his life. Again, Thanks Bryce and good luck.
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