John E. Erickson (Wisconsin politician)
||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Erickson grew up in Rockford, Illinois. He played on the Rockford East High School basketball and tennis teams. Erickson graduated from college in 1949 after being a Little All-American basketball player for Beloit College. He was the college's first player to score over 1000 points in a career that spanned three full seasons and two half seasons. He also represented the college for three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tennis tournaments.
After college, he coached high school basketball teams at Beloit, Wisconsin and Stevens Point, Wisconsin that advanced to the state competition. Erickson was drafted in 1953, serving for two years in the United States Army. He began coaching college basketball at Lake Forest College, compiling 34 wins and 38 losses for three seasons between 1955 and 1958. He served as an assistant coach for the University of Wisconsin–Madison for the 1958-59 season. The following year, he succeeded Bud Foster as head coach, and compiled a 100-114 record in nine seasons. His 1962 team finished second in the Big Ten Conference. He remained at Wisconsin until he was hired as the general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks expansion team in 1968.
After Erickson resigned as the general manager, he won the Republican Party primary, but lost in his 1970 run for the United States Senate against incumbent William Proxmire.
After the loss, Erickson became president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a position that he held for 15 years. The Big Eight Conference hired Erickson to be its director of basketball in 1988, a position that he held until he was promoted to be the assistant commissioner.
Erickson is inducted in four halls of fame. He was inducted in the Lake Forest College hall of fame in 1989 and Beloit College's Hall of Honor in 1968.
Head coaching record
|Lake Forest (College Conference of Illinois) (1955–1958)|
|Wisconsin (Big Ten Conference) (1959–1968)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion