HONOLULU - Wednesday was one of Dennis Erickson’s busiest days since becoming Arizona State’s football coach. He finalized his staff and signed two local junior college players to letters of intent.
Craig Bray, who had been secondary coach at Minnesota, is the Sun Devils’ new defensive coordinator, and Matt Lubick resigned as receivers coach at Mississippi to become ASU’s safeties coach and recruiting coordinator. Both men have worked for Erickson before.
Bray was not the only ASU acquisition from Minnesota. Phoenix College defensive end Eric Tanner, who orally committed to the Golden Gophers, signed with the Sun Devils. Glendale Community College linebacker Morris Wooten, who had given an oral commitment to West Virginia, also signed with ASU.
Wednesday was the first day that JC players intending to enroll for the spring semester could sign letters of intent.
With the additions of Bray and Lubick — son of Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick — Erickson’s ASU staff is complete.
The other assistants are Rich Olson (offensive coordinator), Gregg Smith (offensive line), Dan Cozzetto (tight ends), Jamie Christian (running backs), Eric Yarber (receivers), Grady Stretz (defensive line) and Al Simmons (cornerbacks).
Erickson said via telephone from the Valley that, due to recruiting, the staff will not work together much until after national signing day on Feb. 7.
“That won’t be a (hindrance); all of us have been together and worked together for such a long time that we know what to do,” Erickson said. “These are all guys I know I can trust, and we all have the same vision.
“It won’t takes us long as a staff to build a plan because I know that we won’t be sitting around the table arguing about things.”
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Hawaii Bowl coaches Dirk Koetter of ASU and June Jones of Hawaii have been given a surprise gift from bowl organizers: A weeklong vacation in Tahiti for two, redeemable during the offseason.
That gift is pending NCAA approval, Hawaii Bowl executive director Jim Donovan said.
Koetter, however, will not be subject to NCAA jurisdiction after coaching his final game with the Sun Devils on Sunday.
“I suggest we just bag NCAA rules,” Koetter said jokingly.
After finishing as a bridesmaid in many of the quarterback awards, Hawaii’s Colt Brennan finally won one earlier this week, the Sammy Baugh Award.
The Baugh Award is presented by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio, where Ohio State QB Troy Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy, plays.
“I’ve been finishing in second or third the last couple of weeks,” Brennan told the Honolulu Advertiser. “It finally feels good to finish in first. I’m going to go on the Internet and find out things about Sammy Baugh.”
Brennan, who has thrown for 4,990 yards, needs one touchdown pass to tie the NCAA single-season record of 54, set by David Klingler of Houston in 1990.