D(ennis)-Day on Monday?

As the thick smoke of secrecy surrounding ASU's head football coach search is starting to dissipate, Dennis Erickson is starting to emerge as the team's next head coach. The 59-year old University of Idaho skipper could be announced during a midday press conference on Monday, this following word from the Vandals' Athletic Department that the Sun Devils did seek permission to interview Erickson.

The last couple of days, Erickson seemed to be in a three-horse race for the Arizona State role with UTEP coach Mike Price and Oregon State skipper Mike Riley. More than likely there were already some informal discussions with all three or at the very least with their representatives/agents. UTEP's Athletic Department stated that Arizona State hasn't asked permission to talk to Price; while Riley went on record with The Oregonian newspaper today saying he had no interest leaving his current position. These events, along with the prevailing notion of a head coaching announcement on Monday, all point to Erickson, who will probably be interviewed this weekend, being the likely choice for ASU's head football coach.

Erickson, who quarterbacked at Montana State University from 1966-68, spent three of his first four years of coaching at his alma mater. He first was hired by Idaho in 1974 as an offensive coordinator and came back to the Vandals in 1982 for his first ever head coaching position. His first Pac-10 stop was at Washington State, where he was at the helm from 1987-88.

Erickson's most successful years as a head coach were at the University of Miami. In his five years at Coral Gables (1989-94) he won national championships in 1989 and 1991. His first stint in the NFL came in the 1995 when he was at the helm of the Seattle Seahawks for four seasons. In 1999 he returned to the Pac-10, choosing another northwestern school as his new home – Oregon State. In only his second year in Corvallis, he guided the Beavers to one of their best ever campaigns with an 11-1 record. Erickson spent a total of four seasons there, before making his second pro stop - coaching the San Francisco 49ers from 2003-04.

After taking a year off, Erickson returned to Idaho once again in 2006. His overall career record as a head coach in the college ranks is 149-64-1, which puts him as the 11th best in terms of winning percentage among all active college football coaches. He's regarded by his peers as a brilliant offensive mind who's teams feature high octane passing games.

His Miami and Oregon State teams, his two most successful coaching stops by far, were known for being over-flamboyant on the field, and featured in the news for all the wrong reasons with their transgressions away from the gridiron. Erickson himself was arrested in 1995 for a DUI, but since then has not been known to have any transgressions of the sort.

It is unknown what assistants the offensive minded Erickson will bring with him to Tempe. However, one shoe-in would have to be current Idaho offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Dan Cozzetto, who was ASU's offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1993-99, and is well liked by the Sun Devil family. Furthermore, rumors that current ASU defensive coordinator Bill Miller will remain on the new staff, can only grow stronger with a hire such as Erickson.

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