Dennis Erickson to help as Utah coordinator

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Dennis Erickson won a pair of national titles at Miami and has been a head coach at three Pac-12 schools.

Now the 65-year-old is coming out of retirement to help transform Utah's offense, joining 26-year-old Brian Johnson as co-offensive coordinator.

Johnson, a former Utah quarterback, struggled at times last year since becoming major college football's youngest coordinator.

"Dennis Erickson brings a wealth of knowledge and coaching experience to our program," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement announcing Erickson's hiring Monday. "He has been labeled as one of the original architects of the spread and we are looking forward to the impact he will have on our offense."

The Utes are coming off a 5-7 season in which they finished a disappointing 3-6 in conference play.

"Being around football players and coaches has been my life and that's why I am coming out of retirement," Erickson said in a statement. "I will do whatever I can to help the players and coaches at Utah be successful and I am excited to get back out on the football field."

Erickson won national titles in 1989 and 1991 as coach at Miami, where he compiled a 63-9 record before heading to the NFL as head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

He has been a head coach at six universities -- three of them Pac-12 schools.

Erickson is the only coach to win Pac-10 Coach of the Year at three schools, sharing the honor in 1998 at Washington State, winning it outright in 2000 at Oregon State and in 2007 at ASU, when he led the Sun Devils to a share of the conference title in his first season.

He won Big Sky Coach of the Year while at Idaho, where he got his coaching start in 1982.

He has an overall record of 179-96-1 over 23 seasons.