Dennis Erickson was hired as the head coach at Idaho in December of 1981, and quickly became the winningest coach in Vandal history with 32 wins in four seasons, including two Big Sky championships and two trips to the NCAA Playoffs.
Erickson’s offensive-minded teams were highlighted by quarterback-offensive line duos, highlighted by Ken Hobart and Scott Linehan with Tom Cable, and John Friesz with Mark Schlereth. Ignited by Erickson’s arrival in Moscow, the Vandals had 15 consecutive winning seasons (1982-96) and demolished many offensive records. His coaching tree includes notable names such as Jim Mora, Dan Quinn, John L. Smith, and Tommy Tuberville. Erickson never lost to rival Boise State as a head coach, beating the Broncos by a combined score of 150-68. Despite Idaho being his first head coaching job, he brought the Vandals their most successful period in school history. Erickson would later go on to win two national championships at Miami, two Pacific-10 titles at Oregon State and Arizona State, coached the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers.