Saying he was burned out on the gypsy-like life of a college football assistant coach, Bryce Erickson on Friday accepted the head coaching position at Lake City High.
“I’ve lived in 16 different places,” Erickson, 41, said. “This is it for me. I want to build a great program and win some state titles. I couldn’t be more blessed to be given this opportunity.”
He said his commitment to the job comes down to he and his wife wanting to settle down and plant some roots. They have two boys, 5 years old and 8 months old, and his wife is 10 weeks pregnant.
“My oldest has already lived in three different places,” he said. “When you have children your priorities change. This is a family decision. I see myself growing old here.”
Erickson was one of three interviewed Friday. The others were Deer Park coach Keith Stamps and Lake City assistant coach and graduate Travis Harmon.
Erickson replaces Van Troxel, LC’s first head coach, who built a highly successful program from scratch.
Erickson is the son of longtime coach Dennis Erickson, 68, whose career spans stops at Idaho, Washington State, winning a national championship at the University of Miami and two stops in the NFL at Seattle and San Francisco. He is currently an assistant at Utah.
This is Erickson’s second head high school job. He coached one season, in 2012, at South Albany, Oregon. He took over a winless team and coached it to a 3-6 season.
He left South Albany after one season for his most recent job as an assistant and quarterbacks coach for Paul Petrino at Idaho the past three years.
“I’m ecstatic to have him,” LC athletic director Jim Winger said. “Bryce was very impressive in his interview in regards to his vision and plans for the program. Not often do you get a coach with his qualifications and experience. He’s been at the highest level of collegiate football.”
Erickson said he plans to leave the university as soon as possible.
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “We plan on picking up and getting here as soon as possible. I’m a grinder and want to get to work. We need to get into the weight room. I need to get that program implemented. Championships are won or lost in the offseason.”
Erickson was born in Moscow when his father was an assistant at Idaho under the late Ed Troxel, Van’s father.
Erickson played college football at Miami for his dad in 1993 before finishing his career at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
His coaching experience included three years as running backs coach for his father at Arizona State. Prior to that, he was quarterbacks coach for two seasons at New Mexico Highlanders before serving as offensive coordinator for a year.
He earned a degree in exercise science from New Mexico Highlands in 2006.
It’s no surprise that Erickson plans to install a short-passing, spread offense that his father used at this stops in college. And on defense, he wants his team to be as aggressive as the offense.
He said his father plans on helping him at some point.
“He helped coach my year at South Albany,” Erickson said. “Everything I’ve learned I’ve learned from my father.”
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