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Alliance Salt Lake names Erickson coach

Dennis Erickson, who has coached 47 seasons in the NFL and college football, was introduced on Wednesday as head coach of Alliance Salt Lake in the fledgling Alliance of American Football.

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Salt Lake is the fourth announced market of the Alliance, and will play home games at Rice-Eccles Stadium, home to University of Utah football and host of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

"Dennis is a two-time national champion and one of the most respected coaches of our time," said Bill Polian, co-founder and head of football of American Football. "His experience at the collegiate and professional level makes him an ideal fit to come in and lead these young men looking to begin, extend and/or revitalize their professional careers.

"He is passionate about the game and we're excited to have him on the sidelines again for Alliance Salt Lake."

The 71-year-old Erickson, after stints as head coach at Idaho (1982-85), Wyoming (1986) and Washington State (1987-88), replaced Jimmie Johnson as head coach of Miami (Fla.).

In six seasons with the Hurricanes, Erickson won two national championships and amassed a 63-9 record, the highest win percentage in school history.

Erickson moved to the NFL and coached the Seattle Seahawks to a 31-33 record from 1995-98, before going back to the college ranks and leading Oregon State to a 31-17 mark from 1999-2002, returning to Idaho for a 4-8 season in 2006, and taking Arizona to a 31-31 record from 2007-2011.

His teams compiled a 5-7 record in bowl games.

Erickson had another fling at the NFL, compiling a 9-23 mark with the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 and 2004.

"I've been around the game of football my entire life," Erickson said. "My father was a coach, I played the quarterback position through college, and of course, I've been coaching for nearly 50 years. My passion for football and teaching the game has never wavered, and The Alliance is the perfect opportunity to get back on the sidelines and continue doing what I love.

"I'm excited to return to Salt Lake City as I have fond memories of my time with the University of Utah, where I saw first-hand the passion the city has for the game for football. The Alliance is about building a dynamic relationship between players, fans and the game, and I'm looking forward to Alliance Salt Lake being active in this community and competing for a championship."

Erickson also had a stint as offensive coordinator at Utah in 2013.

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