Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Alumni Profile: Brian Erickson

Brian EricksonPenn State University was known as Linebacker U. for many years for its reputation for developing outstanding linebackers. Since their reformation in 1986, the Raiders could easily share a similar nickname because of the many outstanding linebackers who have graced Horlick Field. Players with names like Schnell, Leonard, Riley, Smith, Hyzdu, Chilcotte, Forston, Deates, Powell, and Harris. Brian “E” Erickson is also a name that would without a doubt belong on this list.

Erickson’s football career started at Sussex Hamilton High School where he played all four years until graduating in 1984. While at Sussex Hamilton, Erickson won several honors including All-Conference and All-District his junior and senior seasons. He won these honors at multiple positions including linebacker, defensive tackle, and offensive guard. Erickson was named to the All-State team as an offensive guard his senior season. Erickson was also named a WIAA Top 20 Scholar Athlete his senior season.

Erickson at first wanted to walk on at UW-Madison as an offensive lineman but decided to play linebacker at Carroll College. While at Carroll, Erickson was an Academic All-American all fouryears and was All-Conference his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. He was also a Rhodes Scholar nominee. Erickson was inducted into the Carroll College Hall of Fame in 2000.

While at Carroll, Erickson was introduced to the Raiders by Jordan Kopac and Bob Milkie, then coaches at Carroll. While bouncing at a Milwaukee nightclub, Erickson was talked into playing for the Raiders by fellow bouncers Tom Leonard and Dan Dragan, both players for the Raiders.

Erickson’s Raiders career started in 1989 until his retirement following the National Championship game in 2001 against the Scranton Eagles. During his career he won numerous awards including All-Conference, All-League, and All-National recognition. He was the Raiders Rookie of the Year in 1989, won Defensive MVP honors twice and Team MVP once. Erickson was inducted into the AFA Hall of Fame in 2004.

Some of Erickson’s favorite memories are a game against the Oklahoma Twisters in 1991 where the Raiders were getting whipped pretty bad in the first half but came back in the second half to almost win the game. He also remembers the 103-0 victory against the Chicago Thunder in 1993.

What Erickson remembers most though are all the great people like Ben and Char Karpinski and Ginger Wheeler. Erickson says he will never forget the guys he played with, many of them who he still has friendships with to this day.

Erickson says, “Football was fun with these guys. We could have lost every game and it still would have been fun. Fortunately we had great players so we didn’t lose too many games.”

After his retirement, Erickson entered the coaching ranks under former Raiders coaches Gregg Brenner and Jordan Kopac from 2002 to 2004. Most recently, he has been a special assistant to Wilbert Kennedy.

Erickson married his long-time girlfriend, Kelly, in 1998. Their first son, Conor, was born in 2000 and their second son, Kyle, was born in 2005. Erickson had been coaching both of his sons in football and baseball through their early years but both sons gave up football and baseball for other sports.

Conor is a standout soccer player entering his junior year at Jackson High School. Kyle, entering 6th grade, spends his time on the soccer fields and basketball courts where he is nailing three-pointers from all over the floor.

The Raiders would like to thank Erickson for his many years as a player and coach. Thank you, “E.”