For the second time in three seasons, Lake City High is looking for a new football coach.
Bryce Erickson, the Timberwolves head coach the past two seasons, resigned earlier this week when a job opportunity came up that was going to pay him significantly more than he was making as a teacher/coach at Lake City.
“It’s been a struggle, being at Lake City and not being certified (as a teacher),” said Erickson, 43. “We just had our fourth kid on Sunday.”
On June 18, Erickson is scheduled to start his new job as a sales rep for a company that sells weight and exercise equipment to schools, health clubs, etc. His territory covers Washington, North Idaho and Alaska, and he eventually may have to move to Seattle.
“It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Erickson said. “It was the best decision for my family, and the best decision for Lake City. They need someone that can be more committed, time-wise.”
Erickson went 5-12 in two seasons at Lake City, including 2-6 last fall. He replaced Van Troxel, who started the program in 1994 and coached the Timberwolves for its first 22 seasons.
“We would like to wish Bryce the very best,” Lake City athletic director Jim Winger said. “He has a brand new baby and a beautiful young family and now has a opportunity with a new job. We have already had quality people from inside and outside of the district inquire about the position. We will move as quickly and thoroughly as possible to get our new head coach.”
Erickson, son of legendary football coach Dennis Erickson, said time constraints for several reasons made it difficult to spend as much time with his team that he would like.
He said with his wife, Mary, working full-time as a Certified Nursing Assistant, he sometimes would have to watch the kids at the expense of attending an activity involving the football team.
Also, during the time he was at Lake City, he said he was taking classes at the Lewis-Clark State College campus in Coeur d’Alene in order to complete his requirements to become certified as a teacher, which also took him away from his team.
“I think the school deserves someone that can be there more than I could be there,” Erickson said.
Erickson played briefly at Miami when his dad was coach there in the early 1990s. He finished his playing career at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. He earned a B.S. in exercise science from New Mexico Highlands in 2006.
Before coming to Lake City, Erickson was quarterbacks coach at Idaho for three seasons. Earlier, he was an assistant at Arizona State when Dennis was head coach.
In 2012, he was head coach at South Albany High in Albany Ore. — and his dad was a volunteer assistant.
Last fall, Dennis was a volunteer assistant at Lake City.
Dennis Erickson was recently named head coach of the Salt Lake City team in the new Alliance of American Football, a professional football league. Bryce said he considered the possibility of joining his dad’s coaching staff, but opted not to because of concerns about the future stability of the fledgling league.
Bryce Erickson said though the T-Wolves have been down in recent years, “I bet in the next 2-3 years, you might see the tide swing a little bit.”