Burlington-Edison High School
Hall of Fame Class of 2018
Don Erickson graduated from Everett High School in 1950. He was an accomplished athlete and a standout on the track team who placed 5th at State in the high hurdles at a time when athletes from all classifications competed against one another. Don served for four years in the United States Air Force. Following his service, he attended Central Washington University. Following a competitive tenure at CWU, he earned a teaching degree in English. Upon his graduation, he was hired at Burlington-Edison High School, beginning as the basketball coach. However, it was when he added track and field to his coaching resume, that a Hall of Fame career was born. Joining head coach Ted Whan in the late 1950’s, they became known as the dynamic duo and were recognized for their passion, enthusiasm, and competitive zeal. Together, they formed a coaching partnership that helped build Burlington-Edison into a very competitive program. Don enjoyed a 35 plus year teaching and coaching career.
Don was a true pioneer. He is credited with starting the girls cross country program and the girls track and field program in the early 1970’s. At a time when girls athletics were not strongly supported, Coach Erickson developed individual girl athletes and teams who consistently placed on the state level. Girl athletes were esteemed and respected as equivalents within Coach Erickson’s program at a time when adding girls to athletics was controversial. He enjoyed great success as a cross country coach. He served as the head coach for the track and field program beginning in 1975 and served until 1991. In that time, his teams won 14 county championships, two NWL championships, placed at state five times while producing 132 individual county champions, 53 league champions, 34 district champions, and 19 state champions. He remained as an assistant coach until 2000.
It is with the greatest honor that the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Association recognize Don Erickson for induction into the Hall of Fame. Respected by his peers, influenced by his athletes, and cherished by his own children who became teachers and coaches themselves, Coach Erickson will be remembered for having a lasting influence on the Burlington-Edison community and the sport of track and field for over 40 years. As supported by his longtime friend and former WIAA Executive Director Cliff Gillies, Coach Erickson’s contributions the sport of Track and Field epitomize the essence of what the coaching profession is all about. It is with great honor that we recognize a great coach for his achievements and his contribution to the sport while acknowledging him as an important influence in the lives of all the young athletes he served as a coach. We welcome Don Erickson into the Washington State Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame.